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The Hard Things

And you look up into her eyes and remember
the first time you met her
all skittish, prancing and curious
and how she fought you
all headstrong and stubborn
and how you didn't think it was going to work
all a waste of time and money

And you remember how she grew into you
all slow and gradual
and you into her
all surprised and in spite of yourself
and how she became the one
all sure of herself and you

And you remember the mornings
all full of chill and brilliant colors
and the long, hard days
all dusty and dry
and when Marcie died
all full of pain and hurt
and she carried you where you needed to be
all empty and lost
and you were found

And you know you can't do it
all final and forever
and you start to tell him No...not yet
all relieved
and then you look into her eyes again
all patient and understanding
and know the coldness of the truth that
all real friends do the hard things

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

TW Chambers comments, "I wrote 'The Hard Things' with the hope of taking the reader to that single, heart-wrenching point of realization that with true friendship comes the very dear price of responsibility--something I firmly believe that people with a cowboy ethic understand better than most." 


Cowboy Seasons

And they always ask
Well, what's it like?
in curiosity and slight awe
but unfound words keep the secret

Because the creaking saddle is an unheard companion
like a wire cased fan on a summer night
and the land beyond end
like the boundaries of hard-earned love

Because the streaking new light breaks the chilled sky
like unexpected warmth on an autumn eve
and the paired rhythm of horse and rider
like the unspoken dialogue of a couple long together

Because the solitude is filled with quiet serenity
like new snow on a bright winter morning
and the work never-ending full of sameness and surprise
like the slow fullness of friendship

Because the wonderment never pales
like the eyes of a child
and each day a shining new passage
like the rebirth of spring

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

TW told us: I wrote this poem after I overheard some people ask a working cowboy what it was like to be a "real" cowboy and he didn't have the words to tell them.


Silent Vigil

And the spurs lie there
in silent vigil
the rowels worn and points chipped
the silver more black than shining
the leather straps hard with
the button holes torn wide from
long ago use

But not always
once the white light ricocheted off
the silver spots
once the jingle bobs harmonized with
the creaking boots
once the leather was sharply etched from
the stamp's basket weave
once gleaming chains ran freely through
the heel fronts
and once the points were long and straight as
the man who wore them

Now the man is long since
and the days of those spurs are
and the meaning of all that went with such men and spurs is
and most of it is long since
and still the spurs keep their
silent vigil

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



Last Respects

Fence posts like slices of ancient driftwood
meandering upright through
a sea of untended grass
connected by tenuous strands of rusted wire
to a purpose long ignored

the slow plod uphill
of a horse and rider grown old together
comfortable in their easy friendship
the working spurs a nuanced decoration
for boots equally past their prime

one last ride
the battered pickup with one horse trailer
waiting for them both
an impending journey to a time and place
foreign to their shared sense of life

the sudden alertness of pricked ears
startles the rider lost
in a reverie of jumbled fragments
eyes snapping up the rise
beneath the sweat stained remnant of a once proud Stetson perfect repose
ancient blood enemy to horse and man
mottled gray hair as much a testament
to longevity as design of nature
waiting on his arrival

an old one for sure
a grandfather with all the dignity and serenity
that time bequeaths survivors
equally at peace in his remaining moments
as the old man and his aged mount

with a motion born of years
spent in the struggle between predators
amongst these desolate mountains
he reaches for the rifle
where metal long ago went blue to gray

in brief reflection
he stays his hand
recognizing this appointment made long ago
when farewell was an unforeseeable future
and dreams weren't anguished memories

unbidden by any deliberate thought
he raises his gnarled fingers
to the hat's beaten brim in silent salute
acknowledgement of the tribute paid by
last respects

2008, TW Chambers
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



About TW Chambers:

I live in Colorado and spend time trying to find words that tell a story and leave readers nodding their heads.



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