COWBOY POETRY: Patched Up Corral

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.

The campfire was a welcome sight.  We’d ridden most the day.  We led the horses to the corral, then tossed in bales of hay.

The corral had seen some better years. We thought it looked worn out. I’ll bet the corral had stories you could ramble on about.

The posts were all of juniper.  They’d lasted many years.  But the poles were torn and broken from those wild and angry steers.

As cowboys do, we always brought a roll of baler twine.  The string served many purposes from rope to fishing line.

We tied the corral together and were proud of what we built.  One cowboy said, “It sure looks like my Grandma’s patched up quilt.”

We wolfed down spuds and gravy, climbed in bags and hit the light.  Then woke up to the sounds of hell!  I’d say around midnight.

A half a dozen cowboys stumbled out with pistols drawn.  One cowboy stood there freezing, only whitey-tidies on.

The racket came from in the corral.  ‘Twas pandemonium!  The horses were so loud that it could crack your cranium!

We shined our lights out in the corral.  A steer was in the midst.  He’d jumped the fence and scared the horses half out of their wits.

The steer was chowing down the hay.  He meant to cause no strife.  But for sure was not about to leave the best meal of his life.

We settled down the horses, then we tied each to a tree.  The time was nearly two o’clock or maybe even three.

The steer was gone by daylight.  He had caused his share of grief.  I said, “If he comes back again I’m turning him to beef!”

Now the old corral was empty.  It was tied and torn about.  Guess I’d never seen a corral that couldn’t keep a critter out.

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1 Comment

  • CAROL A ZIC February 17, 2020 at 12:37 pm Reply

    Dear Mr. Angell: I like your poetry about cowboys. As an “unknown” published poet and’s patience with my poetry attempts, at 84 this is my take on what a cowboy is:

    “A Cowboy”
    A cowboy is lean, tall, muscled and an inarticulate mass
    Of loyalty, independence, pride and downright Western class
    Cocking his hat just so he lets loose with his infectious grin
    Testosterone overflowing, he’s masculine right up to its brim
    He’ll duck his head with a shy smile and charm all the ladies
    Saddle-born, his horse is bold and spirited, and called Destiny
    A cowboy kin drink, git drunk, cuss and dance a mean square
    He kin hunt, trap, fish and if put to it outrun a riled-up bear
    He spits, chaws, farts, smokes hand-rolled and sings off-key
    He shoots, ropes, brands, and whistles at cows in high “C”
    He’s an introverted soul, shy and tongue-tied in society
    But popular with the gals, especially ranchers’ daughters
    Girlish hearts aflutter they ambush him in barnyard corners
    Johnny’s devilish looks and fetching ways work wonders,
    But, Oh-Oh, the current rancher’s daughter wants to marry him
    After she and Johnny did hanky and panky after drinking gin
    Johnny’s thinking now’s a good time to ride out on the wind
    He hightails it out at a fast canter without a backward glance
    Looking for the next ranch on open range to give him a chance
    To punch cows, work a round-up, and find a gal to romance
    A cowboy spends years ranching and wandering around
    Until a right smart gal the cowboy diddled in a small cow town,
    Roped and hog-tied him when his pants were down
    Aside from John Wayne a cowboy icon of film and fame
    A cowboy is our Ole West symbol unknown or renown.

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