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

Photograph by Lori Faith Merritt, Photography by Faith

of Utah

recognized for her poem


Lariat Laureate

Western Music Association (WMA)
Top Female Poet
2011, 2012

About Sam DeLeeuw

Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw was born in Blackfoot, Idaho, just off the Fort Hall Reservation.  She had her first horse when she was four and spent hours riding the Reservation with her Indian friends and even more hours on the tributaries of the Snake River.

She continued to ride and rodeo during her high school years and then attended Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, on the rodeo team.  While at college she took as many livestock classes as she could, often the only girl in Feeds and Feeding, Livestock Management and Selection, etc.

Now single, Sam was married for almost twenty years to a man who raised cattle and sheep.  She can run a squeeze chute, inoculate cows in the heat of the day and spend cold nights checking first time calving heifers by headlight.  She can keep a calf warm on the floor of her truck or the floor of her kitchen, and keep the scour medicine in her fridge separate from the dressing she made for last night's supper.  She can also keep a sense of humor and make a good story out of any of the happenings experienced with the stock.

Sam is the past president of the Cowboy Poets of Utah, and is now serving on its Board of Directors. She is a member of the Cowboy Poets of Idaho, Cowboy Poets of Wind River, and the Utah Chapter of the Western Music Association (WMA). Sam won three of four events in the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Kanab, Utah, held in August of 2006 and was named the 2006 Silver Buckle Category winner.

She has also received many awards and recognitions, including 2011 Pioneer Heritage Award, Cowboy Poets of Utah; 2010 Hall of Fame, Cowboy Poets of Idaho;  twice named Female Poet of the Year by the Utah Chapter of the Western Music Association (WMA). She was named in the top five female poets for the WMA in 2006, 2007 and 2008; 2006 winner of the Cowboy Poets of Idaho Silver Quill award;and received the 2008 Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Cowboy Award for the Humorist of the Year.

She appears at events across the West..

We asked Sam why she writes Cowboy Poetry and why she thinks it is important and she told us

Why not? I was raised in Idaho and loved riding the hills with my family and friends on the Blackfoot Reservation. I rode the tributaries of the Snake River and was a part of the life this all presented. My heritage has been pioneers and early settlers and my early years of riding horses and being raised in a community where cattle supplied livelihoods. Time brings change and the "backyard cattle raisers" are all but gone. The major beef producers are barely hanging on because of the economy and forced restrictions. This way of life must be preserved and written down, the stories told, whether humorous or serious. I want the memories of my youth and later years to be read by my family in the next generations and I do that through my cowboy poetry.

You can email Sam DeLeeuw.


This is Sam DeLeeuw's winning poem:


When cold grey clouds take flight
Chased off by azure blue,
And rigid earth gives way
To desert life anew...

When cactus blossom hues
Adorn the desert sand,
When wild grass turns green
Across a barren land...

When heifers, bawling low,
Announce new life at dawn,
When crusted ice and snow
Shine bright and then are gone...

When mares with early foals,
Stand guard against the wind,
And show their growing ire,
Heads high, with ears laid pinned...

When hawks and eagles fly
Then hover overhead,
And guard their feathered nests
In cliffs of desert red...

When howling chants arise
From wolf pups in the night,
When antelope downwind
Are spooked and bolt in flight...

Warmth comes to the prairie ...
When sun rays stretch their arms,
Magic fills the senses....
When Springtime shares her charms!

© 2006, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Sam told us about her inspiration for this poem:  Spring is magical, especially when you are riding out where new life is appearing everywhere.  It may come in cactus blossoms, new grass, melting snow off lichen laden rock or new foals and calves. You can't help but "feel" spring in those first few weeks of new life on the flat or desert. The mountains still carry its crown of frozen ice, but the valleys begin a rebirth that fills your senses with anticipation and "magic."


Sam DeLeeuw was previously one of 

Lariat Laureate Runner Up
recognized for her poem, Cowboy Jumpstart

Cowboy Jumpstart 

Jake and Rufus was checkin' cows
It was spring, the ground was soggy.
Drivin' the fifty-seven Ford
Lookin' out fer a strayin' doggy.

Jake told Rufus his truck was shot,
Had seen most of its better days.
Rufus seemed to ignore ol' Jake
Just kept a lookout fer them strays.

But, Jake kept crabbin' 'bout that truck,
Kept ridin' Rufus pretty hard.
One chidin' comment after t'other,
Then, Rufus growled, "Now, listen Pard,

"This ol' truck's never let me down.
These years, it's always pulled me through."
Then his rusty partner shuttered!
Jake piped, "Now watcha gonna do?

"Yer trusty, dusty piece of junk
Has done quit ya' out on this trail.
By high noon, we'll be buzzard bait!
It picked a heck of a place to fail."

Rufus grinned, then winked at Jake.
"This ain't new, it's happened before!
All we need is a COWBOY JUMPSTART
To make this ol' pickup roar!"

"A cowboy jumpstart?" Jake hollered back.
"Where ya gonna get one way out here?
There ain't another cowboy 'round
To give a pull or kick in yer rear!"

Just then a big ol' Brama bull
Lumbered up from outta the draw.
Rufus ki-yied and grabbed his rope,
Shook out a loop and spit out his chaw.

He bellered like a rival bull
That humped beast was drawn to the truck.
From on the hood, he swung that loop.
But, Jake bailed out and lit a shuck!

"You crazy, lop-eared S.O.B!
That Brama's gonna tromp yer tush."
Rufus cranked up that ol' lasso
As that ragin' Brama split the bush.

Rufus let fly of that ol' hard twist
Just as purty as you please!
It settled deep around his hump,
Jerkin' slack, it began to squeeze.

Rufus dallied to the Texas longhorns
Mounted on his pickup's rusty hood.
Jake shook his head and muttered low,
"That crazy fool is up to no good!

"Rufus, what are you thinkin', Pard?
To your rust bucket that bull is tied!"
Rufus raised his arms and kie-yied!
In a drawl filled with impish pride,

"Yep, it's been a while since I tried this,
But, it worked then, so should work now!
All we need is some MOTIVATION
And the rest will be up to that cow!"

At that the bull shook his head at Jake!
Shoveled dirt with the tip of each horn!
Jake sensed, HE was the MOTIVATION.
On his weathered face, a look forlorn!

"Rufus, you danged ol' S.O.B.!"
The bull bucked, charged and Jake dove hard.
The rope came tight, the truck lurched up,
Rufus popped the clutch!  "Good goin', Pard!

"Now, one more time!" Rufus shot out,
"And I believe we'll have it made!"
The bull bore down and was blowin' snot,
Jake's deep sunburn began to fade!

Jake took off runnin' hard 'n' fast!
That Bramer lungin' at his  heels!
The truck was coughin' and wheezin',
The boulders bouncin' off its wheels!

Lookin' back over his shoulder,
Puffin' hard and near out of breath,
He could see Rufus a grinnin',
Then the horns of that bull of death!

"Rufus, once this truck is runnin'
Resultin' from this COWBOY JUMPSTART,
Who's gonna take the rope off this bull?!!"
"I'm drivin', Jake, that there is yer part!"

To keep that truck in runnin' shape,
Jake now endeavors to do his part!
So's not to hafta suffer through
Another gall danged Cowboy Jumpstart!

© 2002, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

We asked Sam what inspired her poem "Cowboy Jumpstart" and she told us:  While at the gathering in Cedar City I met a talented lady, Polly Kennedy from Wellsville, Utah.  She hand carves characters from the West that are fantastic.  Again seeing her in Payson, Utah, this winter, one of her newest renditions was entitled COWBOY JUMPSTART.  I asked her if I could take the privilege of adding a "story" behind the carving she had just created, hence, COWBOY JUMPSTART!

Prayer of a Rancher's Wife 

Dear Lord, I thank Thee for this day
For all  the treasures that it holds.
For my family and for my friends
And for each new trial as it unfolds.

I thank Thee for that man of mine
For the love to our kids he shows.
That he can work those endless hours
In pursuin' this life we chose.

Thank Thee kindly for lettin' us
Spend some time upon Thy land.
To raise the crops, the cows, the kids
And at times, givin' us a hand.

I'm proud to be this rancher's wife
Though it's more work than I had planned.
The days are long, the work is hard,
My hands are weathered, cracked and tanned.

At times You've really tested us
What with troubles, disease and drought,
But, through it all, we've hung together.
Now, isn't that what it's all about?

Forgive us on those tryin' days
When our faith begins to weaken,
When we lose sight of who's our strength,
Who's our teacher, Lord and beacon.

I really hate to admit it,
But, these old bones are gettin' older.
My muscles stiffen up with work
And the winters feel much colder.

Lord, was it only yesterday
That I was fresh and young and strong?
Just beginnin' a brand new fam'ly,
Teachin' our youngsters right from wrong?

We taught 'em to respect the land,
To tend the animals and such.
That these creations came from Thee,
To teach caring and our hearts to touch.

Now, if our purpose on this earth
Is to prove ourselves unto Thee,
Then please know our mortal frailties,
And please, show some patience unto me.

I know that I am not perfect
But, I've done the best I could.
And with Thy help, I have lived my life
Tryin' to do the things I should.

I figured You were always with me,
My silent prayers, were always heard!
And it gave me comfort at those times
To know that someone heard each muttered word.

Now, if You could, please send the rain?
The crops could sure use a soakin'.
And bless us with a sense of humor,
So our hearts aren't warped or broken.

And please, let the sun come up tomorrow
So I may start a brand new day,
With my fam'ly, here on this land,
While never from good judgement stray.

Thanks for takin' me by the hand
Helpin' me through those days that' been.
Thanks for list'nin'.  It always helps.
Fer now, Lord, I'll just say......AMEN.

© 2002, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw

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


Lead the Way

With some scrubs and a rangy bull
His Grampa' Jack began that place.
Workin' hard six long days a week,
Sunday was left for sayin' grace.

A God fearin' man, he reckoned,
He knew his place upon this land.
He was on earth to prove himself,
And show that he had some sand.

He married young;  a soul mate found
In that dark haired Western lady.
By his side she would ride and rope,
Gave him a son they called Grady.

As their son grew, so did the herd.
Years of hard work produced the best.
A new herd bull improved the stock,
Bally heifers helped too, he guessed.

He was proud of the brand they built.
Proud of a wife who stuck it out.
Proud of a son who'd take his place,
Who'd be honest and tall and stout.

But now, that lad was ridin' drag
Keepin' stray doggies with the herd.
Lovin' each minute of the day
Without complaint or ornery word.

Mischievous as a spotted pup,
His heart free as blowin' sand.
Maturin' to a strong young man
Bein' proud of his family's brand.

No longer was he ridin' drag
But, took to ridin' with his dad.
Bein' taught by the very best
sharin' the knowledge that he had.

Now, he too, has taken a wife.
A rancher's daughter, hair of roan,
And the two have improved their herd....
Have a son of their very own.

Grady stares back at the valley
Watches the cattle come behind.
He sees his own son ridin' drag
And many thoughts come to his mind.

"It won't be long that he'll be grown,
Takes his turn to improve the breed.
He'll come from ridin' drag and then,
He'll gather up and take the lead.

"He'll have his turn to watch his son
Grow proud to be part of the brand.
To make this way of life survive,
To be a steward of the land.

"Make sure the family brand stays true.
Teach due respect for yesterday,
So his son will see the future
And gather up and lead the way."

© 2002, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Sam told us this poem was done for the 2001 Poster Story Section
of the Prescott, Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering.


Don't Weep for Me 

Her life was done, her body tired,
Her loved ones gathered near.
The old cowboy stroked her paling cheek
As he'd done often this past year.

"Woman, I'm not sure that I can face
This life without you by my side.
Fer sixty years you've been my strength."
His welling tears he could not hide.

"I love you so.  I know you're tired.
I can't stand seeing you in pain.
I wish I knew just what to do!"
The tears came like summer's rain.

Her aged fingers found his brow
And stroked his weather beaten face.
"You listen close to what I say.
I'm 'bout done with this earthly chase."

"Weep not for me, for I have done
All things God sent me here to do.
I gave you kids, worked at your side
And watched that sun set each night with you.

"Weep not for me, for we have found
This existence will test our will.
When trials come, the weak shall fail.
The steadfast, their dreams fulfil.

"Weep not for me, but realize
I'll be in that better place.
Celebrate that I'll be with God,
And I have won this earthly race.

"Weep not for me, my pain is gone,
My mind is clear, my spirit strong.
I will wait for you to come,
Tho missing you, it won't be long.

"Livin' with you these sixty years,
Oh, I've been proud to be your wife.
Now, I'm not sad, I'm not afraid,
I'm now ready to leave this life.

"So, on this very special day,
Be together, let sorrows flee!
Remember all the moments shared,
But, Please, I pray, shed no tears for me."

One last time, she laid in his arms.
To her, she pulled that whiskered face.
A tender kiss, a loving smile,
A passionate, lingering embrace.

Quietly, life slipped from her body.
From earth's grasp she was finally free.
Holding her close, he whispered soft,
"Forgive me, if I weep for me."

© 2002, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Spreadin' Sunshine 

Drivin' through the country side,
A proper lady from back East,
Spied a quaint country ranch house
With all manner of foul and beast.

There were little peeping chickies,
Piggies, porkies and a puppy!
And MOOEY COWS and calves were grazing,
An encounter for this yuppie.

She steered her sports car 'round the silo
And slid right to the ranch house door.
She basked in all the rural fragrance (cough)
And to the rancher she did implore,

"Could you find it in your heart, sir,
To escort me at your leisure?"
The rancher winched and stuttered some,
"I guess it would be my pleasure."

What was this and what was that?
Every detail she would question.
(It was enough to cause a man
To develop indigestion!)

But then, the socialite stopped short!
Her eyes grew wide and sparkled green!
"Oh, my, that's the most beautiful
Rustic sculpture, I've ever seen!"

The rancher looked in disbelief
At what captured her attention!
The rusty old manure spreader
Had changed her phys'cal direction.

"Whatever do you call this piece?"
The rancher seemed a little miffed.
"It spreads the sunshine," he snarled low,
If'n yer smart 'nough to catch my drift!"

"What is the value of the piece
As it stands this very day?
I wish to prrrrrrrrrrocure this masterpiece
And add it to my own display!"

"Ya mean you wanna buy this thing?
Just look at the sh..., uh, crud and rust!
Not to mention the dings and dents!"
"That's why having it is such a must!"

"It's been here over fifty years.
A bunch of sunshine it has spread!"
"Oh, others have come to admire it, too?
Like I have done this day?" she said.

"So, is this sculpture not for sale?
Has no one tried to take it?"
"I've borrowed it out a time 'r two,
But they always seemed to break it.

"Now the sunshine doesn't scatter,
It more dribbles, seeps and oooozes!"
"You can tell a gifted artist
by the vivid words he chooses!

"Let me take it on consignment!
I'll not abuse it like the rest!
It's sunshine will be spread abroad,
It's beauty to their souls caressed!"

Get a grip!  You have my blessing
To pro..., pro..., to buy this spreader here today.
So, git, take off, get out o' here
And spread yer sunshine where you may!

"'Cause if yer set on ownin'
This spreader as yer very own.....
YER NUTS!  And full of more sunshine
Than this spreader has ever thrown!"

The lady laid her money down.
The rancher hitched it to her car.
She screeched off t'ward the city
With sunshine spewing near and far!

The rancher's parting words were heard
Of that lady, oh so fine,
"Her common sense has long been shoved
And jostled where that sun don't shine!"

The other ranch machines were sold.
Travlin' the world is now for sure!
He's wanted as a guest ARTISTE,
On the rustic sculpture lecture tour!!!

© 2002, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Those fortunate enough to hear and see this poem performed, as it was at the 2002 Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Kanab, Utah, are treated to a beyond- hilarious presentation.  These photos by Lloyd Shelby from that event can only give an idea....


  photo by Lloyd Shelby


Harley's Helper 

Darlin', I know yer really busy,
But I could really use yer help
In loadin' up this balky bull, '
'Cause my fav'rite dog's about to whelp.

Could you find it in yer heart,
To take her place an hour or two?
I'd really make it worth yer time,
When this pile of work is through.

Bein' the good wife that I am
I willingly accept this invitation.
To spend some time with my lovin' man
Was my simple expectation.

I'll pack a really tasty lunch!
This will be such joy and fun!
I'll hold the gates and shooo the cows
And get a tan, while in the sun.

It's been so long since we spent time
Just with one another
I was takin' ev'ry advantage
So on him, my affections I could smother.

I put on my new Wranglers,
Soft, printed cotton blouse,
Shiny boots and colored glasses!
Now, I look sharp as I leave the house!

I throw the goodies in the truck,
Then take this sensual pose,
And wait for Harley by the barn
As I am powdering my nose.

He arrives, I smile and purr,
Do ya like what yer seein', Harley?
He said, Yeh.... It's 'bout time!
Now, help me load up this here barley!

I got cows to feed and calves to chase,
So, heave with all ya got!
We're headed to that lower field,
Where I got that ornery bull with hoof rot.

Harley..... Ya didn't even notice
The way I look today!
Oh, yeh, Hon.  But, you'll be all right,
Now, we'd best be on our way!

Well, he's loaded up some horses
And they're standin' in the trailer.
We bump and grind and finally stop
In the field, by the rusty baler.

Well, there's them bulls, so saddle up
And ride on down around 'em.
Really wish I had my dog,
But, you'll have to go surround 'em.

Daisy sure can load a bull,
That's purely not a myth.
So..... maybe if you was to bark a time or two
They just might think she's with!

Well, there I am, all by myself
Toe to toe with this proddin' bull,
BARKIN'  'til my throat is dry,
Feelin' like a dad-gummed fool!

He paws the ground and snorts at me!
So, I bark and growl and hold my stare!!
Then, he charges and my horse takes off
And throws me in the air!

I'm layin' in that marshy swamp
When, I hear Harley yellin',  RRRRUN!  
This was endin' a wond'rous day
That I thought would be such fun.

Black mud holds to my shiny boots,
My cotton blouse is torn!
My Wranglers, once creased and tidy,
Now look weathered and forlorn!

But, I hear that bull a comin',
So, I jump and slop in fright!
I'm hurt, can't see, and  somehow hopin'
That  I just might get home tonight!

I scurry fer that trailer!
The doors are open wide!
And I figure I just might be safe
If I can ever get inside!

I'm flingin' mud with ever' stride!
But that trailer seems far away!
The bull is gruntin' at my heals!

Hon, yer doin' great, he yells,
Daisy couldn't do much better!
Though, she's a healer pure and straight,
And yer more or less a header!

'Bout that time I reached the trailer!
And spun in on the floor
Just in time to see that bull,
Followin' me in, full bore!!

There's just one place that I am safe,
The dog box on the floor!
The bull jumps in, Harley gives a yell,
And slams a bolt down in the door!

Hon!  You loaded up that bull
Just like Ol' Daisy does!
I'm shakin' in that small wood box
When I hear a hornet's buzzzzzzz!

Then I hear the engine start
And feel the trailer rattle!
I'm stung!  And sore and soakin' wet
From my day long ride and battle.

Then Harley yells, We're just 'bout there!
And at the chutes, the bull's unloaded.
Then Harley whistles, Come on girl!!
And out of that cramped box I exploded.

I stagger back up to the house,
I'm stung, I'm sore, I ache,  I wreak!
I'll never get this mud and smell from me
Even soakin' fer a week.

But, Harley said it would be worth my time
Fer helpin' him today.
If I was to have him take me out tonight,
I wonder what he'd say?

As Harley comes behind me,
I'm sure he'll ask me out.
As he clears his throat to talk to me,
I change to a smile, from my pout.

Darlin', you've worked real hard!  I appreciate
All the work that you have done!
So, as you shuck them muddy clothes
Can I ask ya?  WHAT'S FER SUPPER, HON?

There is a postscript to this story,
On a headstone fer all to see!
The words are clear and meaningful
Especially fer me!

Here's the words of wisdom to be heeded,

© 1996, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Anyone who has been to a Cowboy Poetry gathering has probably heard Bill Hirschi's legendary poem, "The Bra."  (Read more about it in our Who Knows? feature).  Sam DeLeeuw says "You know Bill Hirschi has "The Bra" and Don Kennington has written "The Upper Torso Support, Control, Confinement Apparatus..."  And she gives us her response ("boolies" being underwear)...


Boolie Shoppin'

Cowboys, I take it upon myself
To retaliate against your gender
For the sarcasm that's been tossed out
T'ward our torsos, so soft and tender.

Because my gender has been trussed up,
Criss-crossed, uplifted, hooked and secured,
Male poets have taken pot shots,
The male sense of humor, we've endured.

Remember jokes of the "rawhide" bra?
When voices, in unison, would shout,
"We love the rawhide bra because
It heads 'em up and moves 'em out."

So, now it's my turn to take a shot
At undies covering your derriere
Disclosing all your manly secrets!
You Buckaroos think that I won't dare?

Well, tighten your cinch and gather up
And sink your spurs deep on either side,
'Cause I'm about to come out snortin'
Fer one heck of an eight second ride!

Today as I went boolie shoppin'
The  BOOLIE BARN was my only stop.
A borgashmord of male undies
Where wranglers can shop until they drop!

I saw bags of boolies everywhere!
I found every color, shape and size!
Roy Rogers, Trigger and Bullet briefs
Openly displayed before my eyes.

Packaged neat were the "whitey tighties",
Jockey shorts fer fellers slim or fat.
They were modeled by a naked cowboy
Wearin' just boots, briefs and cowboy hat!

Other boolies showed action heros!
By wearin' 'em you instantly become
A He-Man, Superman or the Hulk
With strong arms, tight abs and a right firm bum!

Whoa!!  Just which of you wears a G-String?
Thongs wedgin' in the darndest places !
Fer all the material they include
Ya' could use a patch and old shoe laces!

I hear the waddie who chose to wear 'em
Feels sophisticated and debonaire.
After hours in the saddle, all he'll feel
Are those blisters on his derriere!

Boys, you've joked how we jump and gyrate
Fightin' a girdle 'til faces turn red!
But, your shorts of fluorescent spandex
"Cause to to gasp...STARE... well, that's 'nough said !

I know way across the sea in France
Have come those undies they call "speedos".
There's nothin' to hide, they clearly show
Bellies that hang over your feet-os!!

Loud music came from the boxer shorts
Others were covered with talkin' red lips,
"Like what ya see??", I heard them say.

Shoot! Faces of Hoppy, Gene and Roy
Can now be worn upon your backside.
Six guns blazin' and glowin' in the dark
As to the outhouse you quickly stride.

There's fur-lined boolies for winter months
Fer that man said to have everything!
The sensation of the fluffy fur
Is why he yodels from winter through spring!

Now, Slip-N-Slide boolies are the ones
You boys grab and jerk and rearrange.
After bein'g bucked off and limpin' home,
Grabbin' at them boolies, looks purty strange.

My fav'rite boolies are the Plumbers Pride
With suspenders to hold 'em up in place.
No more bum cracks as you bend over,
No more embarrassment or disgrace.

But then, it's not you that gets embarrassed!
We're gettin' , mooned while standing behind
That horseshoer as he picks up each hoof!
But, on some tushes, I really don't mind!

I know!! We could have a fashion show!
I can only imagine the scenes
As each of you discloses to us
All the boolies worn beneath your jeans!

So, smile wide if you are wearin'
Teddy bears, hearts, or a kewpie doll,
Passionate pink lace, silk, polka-dots,
Or......  if ya ain't wearin' none at all!!!!

Need a catalogue??? 1-900-BOOLIES

© 2003, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Registered Broodmare

I'm just a registered broodmare,
That's what my papers say.
It's quite the joke around my place.
I'll tell ya' how it come to play.

I was 'bout due, my first of course,
When we struck out to check the mares.
They were his pride, his first concern,
For these new foals, he really cares.

I felt a cramp and crossed my legs!
He grinned and drawled, "Now don't you fret!
My little broodmare, you'll soon be!
I'll bed ya' down and call the vet!"

Then, I started into labor!!
The country doctor Jasper dialed.
"My wife's about to foal," he yelled,
"I mean, she's gonna have our child!"

"But, he's not here," the voice replied,
"He's on vacation, don't ya' see?"
Jasper said it would be alright.
"How hard could birthin' babies be??"

He'd seen it done on Discovery.
He'd pulled them calves and colts before.
"One critter's most like another,"
So, he readied for the chore.

But, blessed be our vet stopped by,
To the mares and foals, en route.
"Oh, Lordy, Doc, my wife's in pain.
Would ya' wanna' check her out?"

"Let's take a look," Doc Larsen winced.
"I guess a preg check's  a preg check!
YUP! He's in thar!  Go git my winch!
We'll have him pulled in just a sec!"

My mind went back to Idaho
When Jasper Perkins I did meet.
All he knew was raisin' horses.
Back then, I thought him kinda' sweet.

He called me his "Little Filly."
He said I traveled true and straight.
I didn't wing, forge or cross-fire.
Said I moved at a "flowing gate."

He checked my pedigree in depth
Said I came from "foundation stock."
He fancied my conformation,
Said I was sound from head to hock!

Said I had a striking top line,
Nice rump and carry down muscle.
"Like a Quarter Horse cuttin' calves,
Ye'r sure built fer speed and hustle!"

"I've always fancied the filly
That had them wide spaced tea cup eyes!
Boys, load 'er up!  I'll try her out!
We'll see if she bolts, balks or shies!"

He told me from the beginning
That a great broodmare I would be.
'Cause I had them strong, round, broad hips
For an easy delivery!

Doc successfully delivered
My first offspring later that night.
We had no birth certificate,
But, he said it would be alright.

He happened to have some papers
He used to register new foals.
One of them, he would just fill out.
They'd work to add him to the rolls!

So, my first foal was marked ... horse colt!
Registered name .... ROANY  Perkins,
'Cause his mane was red, his hooves pink.
Doc iodined his belly workin's!

The foal date was then recorded,
Also, the names of dam and sire.
All his markin's were traced with care.
Left blank was the NAME OF BUYER.

He was foaled on the Runnin' P,
Live birth of foal observed on sight.
Coulda' been a pasture foalin',
If I hadn't got home that night!

I've had eight horse colts, two fillies
That came 'bout ev'ry other year,
And he still calls me "Little Filly"
As he pats my over-sized rear!

I'm no longer filly status.
Over these years my body sagged.
Once filly, matron, now broodmare!
Long gone's that form on which he bragged.

My topline's sagged, I'm one big wrinkle
There's  nothing that can remove it!
I'm just his registered broodmare!
I have papers home to prove it!!!

© 2004, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

We asked Sam about her inspiration for this poem, and she replied: Ladies, have you ever been referred to as "a high steppin' filly" or "the old grey mare"  or "an old broodmare?"  You then would understand the background to BROODMARE.  Being just a skosh sarcastic, I took these little "terms of affection" and put them into the story of BROODMARE.  And as one gets older and the  "topline starts to fall", it is very easy to identify with this rancher's wife, mother of "eight horse colts, two fillies, that came 'bout every other year."  But at the same time knowing that the "sire of the herd" still loves you, just the way you are.


The Rancher

The auctioneer arrived on time
His seasoned gavel in his hand.
The rancher slowly walks away
As the auctioneer takes up the stand.

He passes blindly by the barn,
Past pole corrals no longer full.
He shuffles past the loadin' dock
With eyes hidden, downcast and dull.

He walks on into the pasture
Up the hill and atop the rise.
A warm wind is softly blowing
He removes his hat, then he sighs.

He looks across the meadow land
Where bally heifers ought to be.
Where mares with colts would sun themselves.
Their outlined forms he hopes to see.

The road that is gently winding
Leads to that pretty hidden pond.
They'd fish and play, enjoy their time.
Looking to life in years beyond.

Over these rolling grassy hills
Each of his kids were taught to ride.
He still can smell the pines and quakes,
Where the kids would playfully hide.

Under that tree down by the creek,
The old dog, Slick, was laid to rest.
Worn out from miles of workin' stock,
Those eighteen years, he'd done his best.

Spring calvin' always brought new life.
Brandin' time brought fam'ly and friends.
Fall round-up closed the summer months,
But, just what brought him to these ends?

He straightens his body to its height.
Tips his worn hat back on his head.
Groaning, he allows one last look
At paradise; the life he led.

So much of his soul was in this land.
More than just mem'ries of the past.
A once proud spirit chastised by
A way of life that might not last.

Clouds that meander overhead
Change without effort day to day.
Change on a ranch is like two bulls
Finding out who'll fight, who'll back away.

His eyes drop to his gnarled hands,
Strong, rock hard from those years of work.
They're Indian brown and one can see
From pain and labor didn't  shirk.

His mind goes back to better years
When mares and colts and cattle grazed
When pens were full and times were good,
When on this land, his kids were raised.

Slowly returning to the yards,                .
He listens to the rhythmic chant.
Instead of selling out his ranch
He should be deciding when to plant.

The auctioneer has done his job.
New owners take over next week.
He lifts his head and does not hide
The drying moisture on his cheek.

© 2004, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Sam told us: The cycle of life brings on the good times, the hard times, the times of loss and the times to begin again.  I've watched the  ranchers of our area here in Utah go through this cycle and watched as they emerged from the times of loss to regroup and begin again. In this part of the cycle I have seen hard men reduced to tears as memories and dreams are gone.  But "when the moisture on the cheeks dry,"  they seem to gain new strength and see once more "the meadows were mares and colts and cattle graze."

Gathered Up
It was spring roundup time,
They’d been branded fer a week.
The rancher made one last sweep
Down each gorge and across the creek.
Seein’ a lonely doggie,
Dismounted on the knoll,
Gathered up the little heifer
Cute as a new born foal.
I gotcha little darlin’
I’d better get ya to the pen.
Wouldn’t want ya left alone.
Been wonderin’ where ya been.
The wife should be there waitin’,
Told her to gather up the camp.
Gather up the ropes and feedbags,
The Dutch ovens and the lamp.
Told her to gather up the four year old,
Even tho’ he’s hard to catch.
He needs some more trail time
Up here in the old Wasatch.
Told her while’s she’s at it
Gather up a saddle or two.
The green horns want to tag along
And do what Cowboys do!
I know she’ll entertain ‘em
Feed ‘em up and show ‘em how
She bucket feeds you darlin’s
And keeps a count on every cow!
Told her to gather up a lunch
And meet us at the pen.
Her homemade bread and jams
Will be welcomed by the men.
Told her to gather up
More water at the spring.
It’s just a little item
On her list of things to bring.
Well, there’s the pens down below....dang!
I thought she'd beat me here fer sure.
She’s had all mornin’ long
Just what could be keepin’ her?
She shoulda had camp moved
The chuck wagon stocked and stowed.
She shoulda had a hole dug
Fer the portable commode.
She’s gotta git gathered up
Like me and all the rest.
I ‘spose some day she’ll make
A real woman of the West!
I see her comin’ round the hill
The men can see her comin’, too.
They hope she’s brought a pot full
Of her homemade trail beef stew.
I see she caught the four year old,
He’s snubbed behind the chuck.
I see she’s got the saddles.
The green horns follow in the truck
I see she bought supplies,
Rock salt and water tank, too.
I see she brought her tool box
To tack on that colt’s hind shoe.
She’s really got it easy!
All she does is drive around.
Moves the camp, run some errands,
Then gets to sleep upon the ground.
She’s gotta know she’s lucky!
Not every gal lives this life!
Of Gatherin’ Up every day,
And bein’ a cowboy’s wife. 

© 2007, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem was written for the poster session of the 2007 Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering. The poster for the 20th annual gathering was "Gathered Up" by George Molnar.



What Will We Do

What will we do when the range is gone
When no one is left to carry on

When the hills no longer sing their song
When cowboys are told they don't belong

When the coyote howls are in the past
When they say the cowboys will not last

What would we do if the range was gone
Who would be left and who would carry on

When mother cows and calves disappear
When there are no more antelope or deer

When springs are dammed and cease to run
Leaving prairie life to bake in the sun

What would we do if the range was gone
If no one was here to carry on

The cowboys are stewards of these lands
They give it life with their weathered hands

It's not their job, it's their way of life
They're married to it, much like a wife

They'll see to her each and every need
And block the path of pillage and greed

We won't worry, the range is not gone
‘Cause there is someone who will carry on

The brooklets flow, the springs are clear
They'll bring new life from year to year

The hills will sing, the coyotes call
The calf will come to its mother's bawl

We won't worry ‘bout the range being gone
‘Cause the cowboys are here to carry on

© 2008, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



These Women of the West

Scared, alone they came to the West
In carriages, wagons, and carts.
Traveling alone, without husbands,
Many people labeled them “Tarts.”

They were wholesome, some were shady,
Some bandits packin’ a gun.
Some packin’ crates full of school books,
Round glasses, hair up in a bun.

They came from all over the globe.
Their dream was to state a new life.
Women with want ads clutched tightly,
Soon to be a stranger’s new wife.

These women were white, they were black,
Some skins of brown, yellow or red.
Raisin’ kids in a minin’ camp
Or makin’ a go on a homestead.

Others sat straddle tall horses
Behind sulky, rangy boned steers.
From the “good women” in small towns
Came the mocking glances and sneers.

Others half black or part Indian
Just hoped to survive in the West.
Because “mixed blood” or of their race
Had no station among the rest.

All colors worked in the brothels
And saloons found along the way.
Called harlots, they were just women,
Hopeful of a much better day.

From the East the schoolmarm had come,
Educated, poised and proper.
Determined, she yearned to go West,
Tho’ some tried, no one could stop her.

Squint eyes and round yellow faces,
Quiet and respectfully shy.
Asian born and bought for labor,
Tho’ young, many often would die.

A few women challenged the norms,
Dressed like men, were quick on the draw.
A criminal’s life there in the West.
A part of history, an outlaw.

The ranch wife rode long hours each day
With her husband and weary crew.
Unassisted, she’d unsaddle,
Then cooked up her biscuits and stew.

There were those who buried their young,
Leavin’ them on the open plain.
Makeshift markers at tiny graves,
Were soon gone from the wind and rain.

Men alone didn’t open the West,
But women in lace or in suede.
In a time when women were women,
They came west, they settled, they stayed.

These Were The Women Of The West!

© 2009, Brenda "Sam" DeLeeuw
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




Read Sam DeLeeuw's 

A Rancher's Christmas posted with other Holiday 2004 poems


Christmas Gift -- A Sack of Dreams and A Rancher's Wife's Christmas posted with other Holiday 2002 poems


read her Spellbound by the Legend, a poster poem from the 2002 Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering.



Women of the West



Sunday Crisis
The Dance
Women of the West
The Gather
Last Ride
Chuck Wagon Races
Quiet Old Cowboy by Bill Barwick
Leave Well Enough Alone
Camp Cookie's Stew
Rancher's Wife at Christmas
The Heart Ain't Always Home by Brian Arnold
Tools of the Trade
Cowgirl Code
Take the Lead
Day's Work
Hilda' Delivery

Available from:


Spreadin' Sunshine



Harley's Helper
Hilda's Bloomers
Shallow Crossin's
Don't Weep for Me
Stand Yer Ground
My Cowboy
Top Hand
Prayer of a Rancher's Wife
Cowboy Jumpstart
Cricket Roundup
Things to Do
Spreadin' Sunshine

The CD's photography is by Lori Faith Merritt (

Available from:


The tales of "Hilda the Trail Drive Cook, Six foot four and three hundred pounds, weathered and toothless, what a look, stronger than redrock, cactus or cows....humorous tales of how modern pioneers cope with everyday life, and their endless pursuit of things to laugh about, from the West's foremost cowboy poetess."

Available from:




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Cowboy Poets of Utah



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