Please say over my ashes, “Rider”
A code the cadre of my heroes can’t misunderstand.
Include, please, mention the names of my favorite horses.
The good, not so good, and the ones who taught me most.
“Cowman” might be too much the compliment,
“Cowboy” not enough.
I have known that precious, weightless fight
Above the grunting, pounding range,
I have conceived heroes, who, daily,
Bring honor to the first American bearer of my name.
Sold in chains, he brought the minimum bid.
I know the sharp, hard collision with my Mother Earth.
If you can’t get up, you know you’re hurt.
Old, I can’t regret the loves and wrecks
That keep me poor and hurt my hips.
Do it all again? For one word, one description
Dig the snow and mud, swallow all that amniotic fluid,
Watch those beautiful calves, and colts, and friends, and enemies
For “Rider” I’d punch that ticket again.
This time, I might take a pass on the bronco
Who knocked my Dad and Woodie down,
Trying to get