About Kathy Chandler
I sat on the porch and watched them go,
Ted, Smitty, Jack and Uncle Joe.
Many times they had asked me to ride
“Have something to do,” I always lied.
But today was different when they walked out the door,
No one asked me to ride with them any more.
Their mission this morning was to say good bye
To one of their old buddies I would often defy
He had worked each day from dawn until dusk
Came home every evening reeking of musk
Tired old bones as the years piled up
Would sit down calmly with his coffee cup
Ted had bought the cup especially for him
It had eagles and cactus painted on the rim
Smitty wouldn’t admit it, but he bought him a bed.
When he had been down on his luck and half dead.
Uncle Joe was the hardest to get to know
Even started out being the ultimate foe.
In earlier days he had stolen from him
Always at night when the light was dim.
Eggs from the hen house, meat from the rack
Everybody had blamed it all on Jack.
As times got better he won his place
Working the ranch at a cowboy’s pace.
Then one night when the men dropped by,
He didn’t meet them with a gleam in his eye.
They walked on in to take a seat
And found him lying there by the heat
At first they thought he was taking a nap
Lying there peacefully with Uncle Joe’s cap
Four men stood solemnly looking down
Each man reached to pet the fur of brown
So today the ride out to bury their friend
Was a silent one with fences to mend
fences of loss, love and gratitude
Heartfelt thank you to a dog named Dude
And tomorrow if they ask me again
I’ll mount my horse to go with my kin
And maybe we will find a brand new pup
One that I can buy a cactus rimmed cup.
© 2011, Kathy A. Chandler
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
© 2011, Betty K. Rodgers
Kathy told us that her poem was inspired by Betty K. Rodgers' photograph, "After the Gathering," which was a recent Art Spur subject.
About Kathy Chandler:
Kathy A. Chandler was brought up with heroes on television that were fodder for the imaginative child of times gone by. Her heroes were The Rifleman, Roy Rodgers, and John Wayne. Her family pictures were of tall men with big white hats and beautiful big horses. The wrinkled faces and rough hands of men in her family who worked hard and walked tall with steely eyes and tobacco flecked teeth laid the groundwork for what she believed every man should manifest. Strength, persistence, dedication and tenacity were not rare, but the norm. The poem “Passages” encompasses the cowboy and his giving heart along with his penchant for survival and maintaining a relationship with nature.
HoneySuckle Memories Bitterweed Times is a book of Chandler’s that delves into the family and a changing nation. Her ability to touch the heart and pull the reader into the story reflects a connection for all people who believe in the bonding focus
of the hard working family.
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