Cowboys moving cattle using their horses and dogs.
Cowboy Poetry by Audrey Hankins
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DAYWORK

Down on the Arizona desert
Where greasewood and ocotillo grows,
There's a lonely little ranch where nobody lives
A place hardly anyone knows.

The corrals are rotting to ruins
They barely bluff a cow.
A garden patch has gone to weeds
The cabin is home to a packrat now.

The new green absentee owner
Called from his condo one day.
Could we go start his pumps,
Receive a few cows, and take along some hay?

It would be a break from our jobs in town
So Loyd and I jumped at the chance.
We promised ourselves not to marry the place,
We were only going for one dance.

Blithely believing we govern our hearts
We let one dance lead to more.
Soon we evicted the packrat
Swept out the cabin and fastened the door.

cattle trailing to the windmillWe've branded each new baby calf
And named a few of the cows.
Fixed pipeline leaks, changed oil in pumps,

But new leaks still drain water tanks,
And neighbor's steers starve baby calves.
Two bulls pulled out and where they've gone
Is anybody's guess.

The little place needs so much care
But the owner has no clue.
We must lock the gate and drive away
With so much left to do.

We long, after all, to marry the place;
What a strange personality quirk.
For those of us born with cow in our heart -
There's no such thing as just "daywork."

1993, Audrey Hankins

Cowgirl poet Audrey HankinsAudrey Hankins has lived the life of which she writes.  She takes pride in being a real ranch wife.
Audrey's poetry is widely published.  One of her own books 
Raised on Good Pasture
extensively illustrated by 
Robert "Shoofly" Shufelt 
is currently available from
Audrey Hankins
P.O. Box 688
Congress, Arizona 85332
928-427-3885

The cost of the book is $30 plus $5 shipping and handling.

 

SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE

Some things never change
And I like it that way.
Things I can depend on -
Like night follows day.

Seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
Summer and winter, Nature's ways, 
Ever new, yet always the same 
Cycles of life that order my days. 

Spring comin' on forever,
With baby calves and brand-new hope.
The all-day strength of an honest horse,
The usefulness of nylon rope.

The independent spirit
Of folks who love the land.
A quiet pride in self-reliance,
Ridin' for the brand. 

Heat and dust and burning hair,
They're all part of a whole.
The never changing elements
Of a life that is part of my soul. 

I love some things that never change -
Birds twittering at first light.
Cottonwood leaves rustling in breeze,
A familiar trail on a moonlit night.

The smell of greasewood after rain,
A fresh clean wind across the range.
The kingdom, the power, the glory -
Thank God for things that never change.

Audrey Hankins, 1997  

Both these poems were also published in the March/April 2001 issue of American Cowboy Magazine.

Cowboy Poetry by Charlotte Thompson ] Cowboy Poetry by Mike Meaux ] [ Cowboy Poetry by Audrey Hankins ] Cowboy Poetry:  Carole Jarvis ] Cowboy Music ]
 

 


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