THE STAR BRAND

I once had a dream boys,
so real it must be true
‘bout the cowboy’s place in heaven
when God’s roundup is thru

Seems like my top-hoss
and me where at the ole Pearly Gates
Along with lots of other folks,
one and all just waitin’ our fate

Then the great tally was taken
and the good Lord called my name
I asked, “Are there cows in Heaven,
Cowboyin’ is why I came

His laughter thundered ‘or the sky
and he said “Son, come along”
I’ll show you our cowboy Heaven
where nothin’ ever goes wrong

Well boys, it was amazin’,
them sights just left me numb
I’ll tell you what I remember then
we’ll all know what’s to come

First thing I noticed was the range,
just as green as it could be
Stretchin’ out across the Heavens
as far as I could see

No water-tanks are needed here,
there’s a spring every mile or so
Supplied with a natural salt-lick,
just as pure and white as snow

This country can’t be overgrazed,
there’s grass for stock and game
Who live contented all the time,
which makes ‘em very tame

There’re never bothered by the flies,
ain’t ever a one been sick
They don’t get struck by lightning bolts,
or hurt so much as a nick

Each one is branded with a STAR,
that includes the horses too
Clear nights you can make a tally,
but it’s quite a chore to do

There’s even a pasture set aside for ponies
that’s had their day
And when yore old horse leaves ya,
he’s out in that Milky Way

Just agrazin’ and awaitin’
for that day to come around
When you’ll be there to greet him…
on that sacred ground

The Headquarters is just as modern
as any cowhand ever knew
With every little this and that
to make a happy crew

But the line-camps are old fashioned
to supply some atmosphere
‘Cause a sure-nuff puncher “roughs it”
thru parts of every year

Up there the cook ain’t grumpy
and the chuck tastes pretty good
Why he even says a “Thank-Ya”
when you drag up a little wood

All the ponies savvy cow work,
each one a real top-hoss
With none of them bad habits
that make a cowpoke cross

The killers and the mean outlaws
must range the devil’s lair
While rodeo buckers like ole Midnight
still pitch at shows up there

The ropers got all their fingers
and they never miss a throw
Which eliminates the cussin’…
That ain’t allowed ya know!

Yore never caught out in a storm
minus a slicker and dry match
And that slicker got all its buttons
with nary a hole or patch

Prairie dog and badger holes
are all set well aside
And your ole horse never stumbles
no matter where you ride

There ain’t no wire, ain’t no fence,
ain’t no traps around the waters
Just pole corrals and chutes
that’s really needed at Headquarters

You get the best of wages,
that’s including’ room and board,
But it’s not cash or checks ya get
when yore workin’ for the Lord

The payroll is chock-full of things
that money could never buy
Tho some folks will never see their value,
no matter how they try

There’s wind to cool the air
when the sun is blazin’ down
Rain that makes the grass grow tall,
gives the crew a day in town

The sun pays off his chore of makin’
each day warm and bright
The moon lights the Night-Hawks
way circlin’ the remuda at nite

There’s the beauty and the color
placed all around us by His Hand
That is surely a great blessing
that only later we’ll understand

Yes I said this was a dream
but I reckon I made a slip
“I knew you’d finally notice
the STAR branded on my ponies hip

So, adios for now boys,
I’ll see you again… Someday
After this worldly cowhands life
has left you weary and grey

I’ll be leadin’ an extra horse that day
and I wouldn’t ride’ that far
Unless, that extra bronc is yours
and he’s branded with a STAR !

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”

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