COWBOY POETRY: Appreciate Your Job

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.

My father always told me, “Being lazy is a crime.  So, when you’re out there on the job show up and be on time.”

His lecture was so familiar that I’d memorized each word.  And listened so intently for advice I hadn’t heard.

He said, “The Great Depression left its mark as you can tell.  Back then a job was ‘bout as scarce as snowball fights in hell.

“And if you found a job, you’d be the lucky one for sure.  Others weren’t as blessed, and they were hungry, tired and poor.

“But some would rather go without, than being on the dole.  Welfare was a nasty word.  Yet, hunger took its toll.

“So, when they saw their little ones with nothing left to eat, they’d humbly ask assistance, head down looking at their feet.

“The desperate men would ask if there was work that they could do to pay for any food or clothes, or bill that might be due.”

And then my father said, “You young ones don’t know how to work.  Your parents hand you everything which drives me plumb berserk.

“Next time you’re on the job and feeling like you’ve got it tough.  Just take this little test and, yes, for you it might be rough.

“Skip a meal and visualize there ain’t no food for free.  Your job’s what keeps you eating.  Then try skipping two or three.

“An empty belly makes a man appreciate a meal.  Remember while you’re working how your stomach made you feel.

“Your job is what you make of it.  So, try to make it last.  You’re better off than all those men who grew up in the past.

“And when you’re out there on the job.  Show up and be on time.  Demonstrate some interest if you plan to make a dime.

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  • Mandy Fard June 9, 2019 at 9:54 pm Reply

    OMG… I loved reading this. I must have read it 10 times. Such wise words… I would love to share this poem on my blog. I write about career and job-related topics all the time. I can’t repeat this part enough:

    “….. Your job is what you make of it. So, try to make it last. You’re better off than all those men who grew up in the past.
    And when you’re out there on the job. Show up and be on time. Demonstrate some interest if you plan to make a dime.”

    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely poem here.

  • Mandy Fard March 16, 2021 at 1:53 am Reply

    During the past couple of years, especially during the pandemic, I came back and read this poem multiple times. I found something new in it each time and loved it a little more at every single visit. So, two years later, I finally posted it on my blog. I know others will like it very much too. Thanks again.

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