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Nanton, Alberta
About Morgan Wilson



No Regrets

“What d’ya want for Christmas?”

She asked him with a smile,

He said he wasn’t really sure,

He’d have to think on it a while.


But really that was a bold faced lie,

His choice already settled,

What he really wanted for Christmas,

No shop or salesman peddled.


He wished he could unwrap some of the time

Spent up on toil and sweat,

And give it back to his son and wife,

This would salve his one regret.


Those jobs would have waited sure

For a day or two he thought,

While he rode with his wife for pleasure

Or with his son to the fishing spot.


But he squared his shoulders to the task

Of living day to day,

He felt like he had plenty of time,

And after work they’d play.


But as dust raised up by treading hoof

That time just blew away,

And now those moments too few to grasp

Are fewer still each day.


So now the kid is grown and gone,

And there’s silver in wife’s hair,

It seems like only yesterday

That they were young and fair.


The back door opens and the kid walks in,

With his young wife and child,

They all hug and laugh together

At the grandson free and wild.


 “Just in time,” he says, “to help with chores,”

And he throws on his winter gear,

And three generations of working men

Go out to feed the steers.


Grandson steers the pickup

While Dad and Grandpa pitch the bales,

As the sun creeps past the ridgeline,

And the daylight quickly fails.


They make their way back to the barn,

Grandson checks the hens,

They chop the frozen water trough,

And bed the pony’s pen.


Grandpa shares some of his regrets

While forking out some hay,

‘Bout how he should have made the time,

Instead he let it slip away.


His son said, “You don’t recall

The hours we spent together

Stringing wire or digging holes,

Or cursing about the weather?”


“Or you and Mom and me out riding

From dawn till end of day,

And how I helped you during calving

You think you let that slip away?”


“You are your work, your work is you,

You’re the man I hope to be,

I hope that you will never regret

The life you gave to me.”


“I’m doing just the same darned thing

You claim you’re sorry for,

I know there’s fun we didn’t have

But we’ve had something more.”


Lost for words, he breathed a sigh,

Off his shoulders a weight did lift,

And then to his puzzled son and grandson said,

“Thanks boys, for the Christmas gift.”

© 2004, Morgan Wilson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Morgan comments: Should we all be so lucky as to live a life without regrets. Most of us would live our lives a little differently if we had another chance and knew what we now know about how quickly time passes. This time of year reminds us of that relentless flow of time as we gather in celebrations and notice how suddenly some of us have aged, grown, changed or how some are missing from the table. The celebrations and gatherings of the Christmas season are opportunities to address some of those misgivings. I hope we can apply some of the Season’s peace and good will to help us live our lives with no regrets.


Morgan Wilson's "No Regrets" is posted with the 2008 Christmas poems.


About Morgan Wilson:

I'm the third of four children of Stan and Helen Wilson (both deceased) of Nanton, Alberta, Canada. I was born in High River and "Raised Right" (Alberta Beef Producers new slogan) in the foothills of southern Alberta. I've lived in the Nanton area for all of my 45 years and currently live on a section and a half of a good dryland farm where my wife and I raise good black angus based cattle and mixed hay.

My poetic inspiration comes from the cowboy genetics my parents contributed and the Alberta prairie and mountain vistas I see every day. I'm not a spur-and-saddle cowboy by any means, but I have done my share of cow work and spent much of my youth riding through the brush gathering cattle and mending fences. Nowadays, I'm more apt to start the ATV and take the dog to muster up the herd. I'm currently employed off-farm hauling cattle, grain, and hay for a local trucking company which pays the bills and also has its inspirational moments. My poetic heroes include Doris Daley, Bryn Thiessen, Ben Crane, and Mike Puhallo.





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