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Brush Poppers

C&I's Poem of the Week for 8/17/2011

The gather’s done again another year
But now we find, like every other fall,
That crooked-horned old brindle cow ain’t here.
She’s hid out every year that I recall.
Lemont says he is tired of that old hag,
Swaps out his tired horse and tells the crew
He’s gonna pen that cow and have his brag.
So Shane and John each caught a fresh horse, too.
In San Juan Mountains’ wild and open range,
Old Brindle’s found the perfect hidey hole.
An outlaw cow like her will never change--
She has her lines down pat and loves her role.
Chamisa lines the trail back to the lease
Where Brindle and her calf are hiding out.
Those cattle are the ones who broke the peace;
And there will be a war, without a doubt.
The horses feel the tension in the men,
Who scan the trees for Brindle, ropes in hand.
They’ll neck that ringtail to an oak and then
They’ll heel the calf and burn the outfit’s brand.
Before she winded them, they spotted her.
So they dismounted, pulled their slack, and rode.
They promised her escape would not recur
And they’d collect the debt that brindle owed.
She saw them then and bee-lined for the brush.
She left the calf behind so Johnny vows,
“There’s no need here to get into a rush.
Let’s rope that calf and troll for mama cows.”
Lemont built him a loop. He spurred his horse
And Baldy closed the distance in a wink.
The heifer ran, to no avail, of course;
That slick-eared calf was tied ‘fore she could blink.
He packs a branding iron, of course a knife,
So while the iron got hot, he marked her ears.
Those notches hurt; she cried out for her life!
And when her baby bellers, mama hears.
Old Brindle shot the gap ‘tween Shane and John
‘Fore either of those boys could get her looped.
So by the time they’re ready, Brindle’s gone,
And poor Lemont don’t know that he's been duped.
She found her calf, and then she spied the man.
She altered course and then increased her speed.
Lemont looked up and saw her. Off they ran
With Brindle second, fightin’ for the lead.
Lemont runs after Baldy for a ride,
But can’t escape that crooked-horned old cow.
Old Brindle’s out to have that cowboy’s hide
And looks like she’s about to get it now.
They’re wound up tight as Grandma’s eight-day clock,                           
A-bawlin’ and a-squallin’ in a ring,
A-racin’ in a circle, head to hock,
Just like some Buff’lo Bill Wild West Show thing.
Lemont’s about to lose this mortal race
When heifer kicks her string; she’s runnin’ loose.
The cow decided she’d increase the pace
And wiped her nose across Lemont’s caboose.
She rolled him like a quirly in the dirt.
She stomped like some bovine flamenco dance.
Though he escaped those curly horns unhurt,
She ripped the dubya pockets off his pants.
“Go get him, Mama!” Shane yelled in support,
But Brindle broke it off and took her calf.
With heartfelt consolations, of a sort,
Lemont’s hermanos tried hard not to laugh.
They parlayed, when Lemont could breathe again,
‘Bout how to choose the words the boss would hear;
That if he wanted Brindle in a pen,
Then someone else could pop the brush next year.

To submit your poems for consideration, please send them to mail@cowboysindians.com with "poetry" in the subject line. Selected entries will appear online.


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