Page Three






I was sittin' with mom in her kitchen
just the other night to visit some
she pushed a bowl of peaches cross the counter
"Been a couple days, glad you've come"
her fish tank purred and I saw that she was older
been six years since dad  has passed away
then she laughed at some comment that I made
and I thought about her folks and Kansas hay
she'd learned to drive back when she was a kid
inside a truck her dad drove hauling lime
I'm pretty sure gramps taught her how to laugh
and to cowboy tough it through depression time
then we talked some more and ate a piece of pie
and she let me know a lights out in the back
there's a note taped on the wall to remind her of a pill
as we look through some old pictures from a stack
then I hugged her and told her she's alright
glad this Kansas girl is my mom
as she winks and says, "Don't forget about the light."

2002 Steve Dirksen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Steve Dirksen's poetry here.

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of


The Good Mother

It was time to fetch the cattle home
From off the Flint Hills grass,
We strung up a panel catch pen
And hoped that it would pass,
We saddled up the ponies,
All day we rode 'em hard
To gather all the cattle in
And pen 'em in that yard.
Amid the blowing and bawling
We sorted big from small,
And loaded up according,
'Till we thought we had 'em all.
Back home on winter pasture
We turned the trailers out;
One little heifer stuck around,
Couldn't budge her with a shout.
She watched as little babies
Hopped out and paired with mom,
Then eyed the empty trailer
And promptly lost her calm.
All night she stood and bawled
Her grief 'till it would break your heart:
It didn't take a genius
To know we'd torn a pair apart.
The only place the babe could be
Was back there in the Hills,
So we loaded up and headed back,
Me and Danny Wills.
We rode that pasture half a day
'Til Danny sighed and said,
"If she left a calf behind her here,
It's more than likely dead."
We'd sat ourselves to rest a spell
 In the shadow of the truck
When of a sudden Dan sat up,
Said, "Can you believe the luck?"
He pointed to a clump of grass
That sported two red ears;
Said, "That's just the darndest thing
That I have seen in years!
He's stayed right where she put him,
He never made a sound;
But thanks to her persistence
Her baby has been found!"

2001 by Margo U. Imes. All rights reserved. May be reproduced or performed by written permission, with the provision that the author is credited.


Read more of Lariat Laureate runner up Margo Imes' poetry here.

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of




..... is but a bucket .....

I saw pump handle rise and fall,
The bucket in the sink;
The ol' stove cranked, the embers stirred,
To heat it to the brink.

One night a week, for each of us;
One bucket cold, one hot;
She pumped that water, filled the tub;
We'd soak and scrub a lot.

An old iron bucket sat beside
The stove, was filled with wood,
So when she needed fuel to
Re-heat the flames she could.

Ol' Jersey cow would chew her cud;
Her bag refused to wilt.
Mother pulled those teats with rhythm;
Bucket filled to hilt.

The granary filled with corn and oats
Had bucket waiting there.
She'd fill it to the brim to carry
To our saddle mare.

'Twas oversized, that bucket filled,
That soapy-water tub;
The one she used to wash our clothes,
To hold the board she'd rub.

Another bucket fit the mop
That cleaned our dirty floor;
Another smaller one she held
When scrubbing was her chore.

On top of one she built a seat,
To hold slop in the night.
She placed it near our featherbeds.
An often-welcomed sight.

When nights were long, a stomach hurt,
She'd hold a head in hand,
So when we would regurgitate
In bucket it would land.

When she went out to plant a seed,
Or pull a weed, unfit,
Upside down that bucket went;
A place for her to sit.

And in the summer when that garden
Filled with all its booty,
Bucket then turned right-side-up
To do its normal duty.

Filled half-full with water it
Became a vase for blooms;
Flowers from her tended gardens
Filling all our rooms.

Every year she filled one up
With fresh paint for the wall,
Mixing in a special tint
For bedrooms and the hall.

She carried coal to make a fire
When winter winds would blow.
It seemed she had a bucket with her
Everywhere she'd go.

Whatever else the world would see
In bucket in her hand,
I know for sure what I would see
From where I used to stand.

Those buckets made of iron or wood
Or tin or woven reeds,
Were nothing more than vessels holding
Treasured, fruitful seeds.

They were the seeds of Love and Hope;
The seeds to grow a Life;
The seeds that, given tenderly,
Protected us from strife.

They soothed the pain and shined the mirror
Reflecting all her Love
She selflessly and lovingly
Dispensed from up above.

I held onto her cotton skirt
Or grabbed her hand with mine.
And when my bucket emptied out
She'd fill it up, each time.

She always had that bucket full;
'Nuff Love to go around.
The burden never got so great
She'd dump it on the ground.

Motherhood is but a bucket
God refills each day.
For those who freely choose to mother:
Love their only pay.

No matter weight within that brim;
No matter shape nor size;
The Buckets that she bore for us
Contained God's greatest Prize!

. . . . a musing from the West by Rose Mary Allmendinger

2002, Rose Mary Allmendinger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Rose Mary Allmendinger told us her poem above is "based on my own experience living with and loving my own mother who was my best friend ..." And that the poem below, about the "school marm" who inspired her poem "When the Old Yella Bus Comes Down the Lane," was about her own daughter, the subject of the next poem.  She tells us "My life has been sandwiched between TWO of The Greatest Mothers this world has ever known!!!"


All are gifted, some are good, but only ONE is BEST!
She makes those extra efforts that will surpass all the rest!
She has no help, significant, to raise her children, two;
But she has talent to provide more than the rest would do.

In spite of working hard each day, teach other kids, not hers,
No family with two parents could have better life chauffeurs.
Two kids are always listened to; each thing they say is heard.
She knows that Love, unqualified, is not just another word.

When other parents are "too busy" she will coach the team;
When help is needed in their schools it's she who's often seen.
It's not because she has a spouse to cover other bases,
Nor pay the bills nor do the chores, dry tears on little faces.

It is because she knows the meaning: LOVE UNQUALIFIED!
And she will practice that until the day that she has died.
There is no money, school test, adversity surpassed,
That gives a child the firm leg-up of LOVE that's there to last.

The fact she has a brain she uses to promote their minds,
And offers them exposure to experience, all kinds,
Is just a bonus that her LOVE provides to children, two.
She does not count on recognition ... not from me nor you.

But if someday you want to see Motherhood at work
In all its glory, sacrifices done without a quirk,
Her name is Cindi and she raises Matt and T. Marie.
[She also is my daughter and she means a lot to me.]

And if it's true that Heaven waits for angels such as she,
Her children and the ones she's taught will join her there with glee.
No other have I ever known that's like her, anywhere.
Were excellence rewarded every crowd would turn to stare.

She'll never make a fortune and her days are always long.
But deep within her heart-of-hearts her LOVE is always strong.
I know she would enjoy the luxuries life can sometimes give.
But dividends of Motherhood she'll reap from life she lives.

... for my daughter with love - by Rose Mary Allmendinger

2001, Rose Mary Allmendinger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Rose Mary Allmendinger's poetry here.

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of






Page Three



 What's New | Poems

 Features | Events  

Poetry Submissions | Lariat Laureate Competition

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