Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Rolla, North Dakota
About Mark Kerr



The Top Hand

Well, I’ve heard a lot of talk about the top ranch hand
From the Wasatch of Utah to the Kansas hills' sand
In dusty cow camps from Pipe Springs to the old Bar 10
In fact, that top hand talk comes up most places I’ve been

But I’m here to say, there’s none that will or can compare,
To the man who committed to my spread without care
He gave his life and soul to the land he’d never own,
He never seemed to complain—even with tired bones

Always an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work,
He was a full and kindly man but not without quirk
Feeding cows in the winter or the heat of July
He did his best job without asking—the question why?

Without the giggle of children or a wife at night
A strong steady hand that always seemed to do the right
When you work a good spread you just become a real part
He had a feel for the land and gave the stock his heart 

Now as I recall the past and write this tale of truth
He spends his days at the Vets home reliving his youth
With a pride for this great country and the land he served
He never seeks attention that you know he deserved

And I ask God to bless this man in your bigger plan
If there is a top ranch hand—He is forever that man

© 2009, Mark Kerr
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Mark told us: This poem is a tribute to the men and women who helped build the ranches and farms of America and to which we all owe a debt of gratitude. I know a person in this poem and if you read it carefully you will find someone you know also.


About Mark Kerr

Mark Kerr relocated to Southwest Utah in the spring of 2005 from his farm in Northeast North Dakota. A fourth-generation horseman and land owner, he understands the challenges of the rural way of life and protecting that culture.

Mark is also a nationally recognized horse judge (retired) in several disciplines and breeds.

A lifelong songwriter, Mark started writing cowboy poetry in 2007 and is greatly influenced by the outstanding cowboy poets of Utah and Arizona as well as the rich western history of the area.

Mark and his wife, Janelle reside in Ivins, Utah



 What's New | Poems | Search

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!


Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form. is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  

Site copyright information