COWBOY POETRY: The Narrow Road

Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell's life.  Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.

We set out for a trail ride, Dad and I, in our pickup, horse trailer in tow. The sun was shining, a beautiful day. Dad chose the way to go.

Back in the trailer were Stretch and old Gill, my trusty, loyal bay. We’d ridden together for many a year, even conversed… Well, in a way.

Dad said he knew the road ahead. But my gut tensed up with fears. I asked him when he’d been there last. He said, “Oh about thirty years.”

The road was narrow, its ruts were deep, the trail, ‘bout ten feet wide. And off to the right, a hundred foot drop! NOW my fears I couldn’t hide.

Then all of a sudden he piped right up. “I think we took the wrong road. Let’s turn around and get out of here before we lose this load.”

Have you ever turned a rig like this? It’s not an easy chore. So down the road we skidded, afraid of what lay in store?

To my surprise the road cut back and opened up a space. Would it be wide enough to turn around and get us off this place?

I managed to get that rig turned back, with my twelve point turn around. And I only used a few cuss words. My father’s were more profound.

I took a minute and checked in back, to see how the horses were faring. Old Gill looked up in my direction, his nostrils really flaring.

His expression said, ”You’re lost again? This happens way too often. I’d like to trade you in before I end up in a coffin.”

Well the clever man that I’d become put Gill back in his place. I said, “I hear we’re out of glue.” You should have seen his face.

We headed back the other direction, uphill all the way. My knuckles were white as I steered the wheel. What more could happen today?

My father spoke right up again. His timing seemed so odd. “Never turn your back on God, son. Never turn your back on God.”

‘Twas a curious thing my father said, especially at this place. If we slid anymore downhill, we’d be meeting Him face to face.

It’s plain to know our Maker shows pity on his flock. We drove up top without a scratch. For sure, he’s more than talk.

I kissed the ground and yelled out loud. “I’m glad to be alive!” My father looked at me and said, “How does that kid survive?”

Gill shot another look at me that said, “Dude I think we’re through. If I ever get another choice, next time it won’t be you.”

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