It was a cold October
back in nineteen fifty four
Had a roundup camp for home
at a place called Casner Draw

Every evenin’ ridin’ back
and still feelin’ sorta bold
After chasin’ steers thru the pines
while dealin’ with the cold

We all roped and drug in firewood
that lay along the trails
To heap upon the fires
where we recounted all our tales

You see it was the custom
to supply the cook with wood
But mere cowpokes couldn’t use
the flames where the Cooky stood

We made our own blaze
about twenty foot away
There we punchers gathered every night,
each to have our say

Soon, by golly, all of us was a-laughin’
and a-jokein’ up a storm
Can’t say if it was the fire
or the stories that kept us warm

It started with the days gather
as we analyzed and ridiculed every word
Ira tracked a bunch for miles,
scooped them up and drove ‘em to the herd

Joe, he found that wild one
we’d all been watchin’ for
Tied him to a gentle tree
and got his shirt all tore

Duane got into a pickle
when his pony bucked him down
But he never let go his reins
‘cause he was a long, long ways from town

This went on all thru the coffee,
biscuits, steak, and beans
More palaver past peach cobbler
and coffee as we squatted in our jeans

Each of us was, in turn,
reminded of a particular tale to tell
Then more coffee and some whiskey…
The fire captured us in its spell

We talked of mean horses
and gentle women
or ’twas it the other way around?
When we spoke of departed comrades…
There was no other sound

Just the cracklin’ of the fire,
the poppin’ of pine knots
Breezes stirrin’ thru the embers
while the cooky rattled pots

The night horse he’s a-stompin’
with rollers in his nose
Could be a passin’ bear
or hungry cougar I suppose

We’re all gittin’ sorta sleepy
just gazin’ at them coals
A few bedrolls are unrolled
and we’re huntin’ up our holes

Some die-hard whiskey drinkers
are still are pitchin’ in some sticks
To keep some light and warmth
thrown out upon this special mix

Most of us just listen now
as the older waddies reminisce
About cowboy life a long ways back
and the adventures we have missed

I find myself sorta dozin’
as I hunker in my roll
But I’m happy and content,
right on down to my cowboy soul!

If you liked this poem – you’ll love some of the others as well as the stories from my first book “True Stories and Rhymes from the Range”


One thought on “GATHER ‘ROUND

  1. Hey George!! I’m so glad I found your blog! You are indeed The Last DK Cowboy, and coming from the Miller family, that makes you legendary!!… So glad you write so colorfully and vividly about those days! You are a priceless gift of memories and a true part of the family!
    Kim Miller


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