Legends of the Trail

It's jerky and coffee and eyes full of dust
Hellish hot sun and conchos and rust

It’s riding all day with no end in sight
Then keeping them dumb critters quiet at night

Sioux on the outskirts seeing what they can take
A grizzled old trail boss as mean as a snake

Valleys with rocks but some with sweet grasses
Flash floods in gulches and snow covered passes

Chase off some rustlers with a Winchester rifle
Then gaze at deep canyons that sure were an eyeful

And along that long trail, they buried some men
Compadres and brothers, good pards and friends

Laughing and joking around a small fire
They tried to stay warm as the trail climbed up higher

Then out in the open and down to the train
Driving the herd in the lightning and the rain

Pick up their pay and spend it in town
In the morning they’re broke but with hardly a frown

Then it’s saddle up early and head south again
A couple of ponies, a couple of friends

They’d sign up again in a month, maybe more
Then they’d push a  new herd, knowing just what’s in store

They did it for decades till it faded away
But the tales of those drovers are still with us today

They helped shape a country, though they never knew it
They faced up to bad times and always fought through it

It’s that will to survive and to just do your best
That the Cowboys left branded on the soul of the west

Photo by B.T. Blade aka Bruce Bugland
© 2008