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Big Horn, Wyoming
About Renee Meador




Feedin' Time

A winter's day;
I'm short on hay
But there's hay cubes by the bag.
I have no fear,
The barn is near,
But do I haul or drag?

The gravel's bare.
The bag would tear
When dragged 'ore rocks and ice.
I heave the sack
Up on my back.
A lackey would be nice!
I grunt and strain,
Endure the pain,
And trudge out through the snow.
I'm bustin' drifts.
The hay bag shifts
And steers me as we go.
I'm bent plum over!
Get down, Rover!
Don't lick my face that way!
It's this gol-durn gate
That's made me wait.
I'm not out here to play!
Git back, Scout!
Don't whirl about
And buck and kick this way!
Sure, I look strange
Crossin' your range.
On my back's a bag a hay!
There was a time,
(Ah, youth, sublime!)
When grain and hay were light.
When I could stack
And drive the trac-
Tor from dawn till sun's last light.
That time is gone.
Yet I press on
With bones and joints crackin' up.

I'd soon be done,
The race be won,
If that barn'd quit backin' up.

2003, Renee Meador 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



A zebra-dun paint, with black mane and tail, a sweet mix of white, tan and black,
With three white socks over straight black legs and a black dorsal stripe down her back.

A clear piece of equine perfection, she stood in the small pole corral,
Alert and alive for inspection to show what she knows to do well.

"Well, Socks," the old cowboy called her, as he slipped through the fence with his gear.
She nickered so soft to his greeting, and moved to him as he drew near.

High in the sky, the eagle's eye takes in the scene below,
Seeing all scenes, knowing the things that only the eagle can know.

Socks was a horse with a history when the leathered old man came along,
A long-standing, unpleasant history of coming back to the ranch house alone.

She came from the ranch's remuda, raised from their own quiet stock,
But somehow she developed a penchant for dumping her rider in rocks.

None could unravel the mystery for no one could make the mare buck,
But there had to be more to the story than a hapless wrangler's bad luck.

High in the sky the eagle's eye searches the country below.
He glides through the sky as thermals rise; he glides and he knows; he knows.

Socks was a natural at schooling.   At four years, she was earning her keep
'Till she was gathering out on the ridge top and left young Pete in a heap.

Pete said she gave him no warning, but a slight dip of her head was a clue.
Before Pete even knew she was bothered, Socks was completely unglued.

With a searing pain in his ribs, Pete pulled himself out of the rocks,
Knowing he'd be back at the ranch house before he'd catch up with Socks.

High in the sky, the eagle's sharp eye sees the whole show and he knows.
He knows.  The eagle sees as he rides the breeze and he knows.

More than one knowledgeable cowhand thought they had figured out Socks,
Thought they had finally won her trust only to land in the rocks.

But Socks was a horse full of promise, the leathered old cowhand could see.
So he made it his personal project to sort out what the trouble might be.

He kept Socks by herself in the pole corral.  They rode out on the job everyday.
Then he'd bring the mare water, groom her, and give her her ration of hay.

High in the sky, the eagle's eye hunts as the southerly breeze blows,
He sees in the grasses, in the rocks, in the trees; the eagle sees, and he knows.

The old cowboy swings up in the saddle.  Socks is ready to go.
He wishes the lady could tell him what it is that bothers her so.

The day is full of the hard work that cowboys and horses do best.
As shadows steadily lengthen, they head for the ranch house and rest.

Socks notices a rocky outcrop and the cowboy takes up some slack,
And then, the old cowboy feels it - she's trusting the one on her back.

High in the sky, the eagle's eye sees a rock that he knows.
He knows the mare that sees the rock, gives it a glance and then blows.

He remembers the filly who followed her mare that first summer when all was new
To skirt that rock where the rattler laid, coiled and rattling, too.

When the eagle on high fell out of the sky onto the snake in the rocks,
The mare bucked and shied. By her side, bucked the filly with three white socks.

2006, Renee Meador 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Renee told us: Socks" is a poem for the horse owner who has loved a horse with a quirk. What owner of a horse with a minor quirk hasn't wished the horse could tell
him what had caused the problem?  I read an anecdote about a horse that had
gone from owner to owner because he would occasionally buck for no reason. 
While puzzling over the kind of incident that would create a reflex response
in a horse, I came up with the idea for the poem "Socks."



About Renee Meador:

I am a mathematics teacher at Sheridan Junior High School in my hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming.  I actually live in Big Horn, Wyoming, a small community about 10 miles south of Sheridan.  My home nestles against the backdrop of the Big Horn Mountains.


Although I grew up on Main Street in Sheridan, I have been enamored of horses and the cowboy way of life from my earliest recollection. I have owned, ridden, observed and enjoyed horses most of my adult life.  I have written poetry sporadically since I was a teenager.  Recently, I have been focusing on poems that tell true and near-true stories of the West, cowboys, and their horses.



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