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GARY ROBERTSON: Poems

You're a Horseman Now

(Gary Robertson)
THE HORSEMAN




I was standin’ by the fire
As the sky was turnin’ grey.
Twas the hour before the sunrise
The coldest time of day.

He walked up with his hat in hand
As I stood there all alone
Sais “Boss, I hate to say it,”
“But I’m chilled right to the bone.”

“I never knew I could be so cold”
“Or could ever hurt so bad”
“N I’m wonderin’ why I ever left”
“My mother ‘n my dad.”

He was somethin’ short-a sixteen then
Had just hired on with the brand
but I knew he had the heart ‘n mind
To make a first-rate hand.

See, he sat natural in the saddle
Was firm, yet gentle with the rein
He’d ride any mount you gave him
“N he weren’t one to complain.


I poured us both some coffee
Handed him his cup
‘N we stood there without talkin’
As we watched the sun come up.

That eastern sky turned light, then bright,
Then exploded into day
It was while we watched that sunrise
I decided what I’d say.

I said, ”You’ve got to feel the bitter cold,”
“To see the day’s first light,”
“N you’ve got to sleep out on the ground,”
“To touch the stars, at night.”




“N you’ve got to live life lonely,”
“To cherish kith ‘n kin,”
“N it’s livin’ as you’re ment to live,”
“That comforts in the end.”

“N you, you were ment to live life horseback.”
“I’ve known it from the start.”
“Why, the first time that you climbed aboard”
“The Good Lord touched your heart.”

“N it’s God who picks the Horseman”
“It ain’t us fellers who decide.”
“See, it’s ‘need’ not ‘want’ that drives us”
“To live so’s we can ride.”

“Oh, you’re a Horseman now, He’s made that plain,”
“You’re one of the proud ‘n the few,”
“N the way you live, it’s who you are,”
“It’s not just what you do.”

“There’s no goin’ back to Mom ‘n Dad,”
“You can’t return to pushin plow,”
“For you’ve seen the world from horseback,”
“You’re a Horseman, like us, now.”

“N, we ain’t built like other fellers,”
“We’re cursed as much as blessed,”
“For once we’ve forked a saddle,”
“We can’t live like all the rest.”

“Once we’ve smelled them lathered horses,”
“N, a wood-fed brandin’ fire,”
“We’re hooked on workin’ horseback.”
“N, we’ll live our life bone-tired.”

“We’ll put up with the heat ‘n dust,”
“Or the ice ‘n freezin’ cold,”
“N, we know that long before our time,”
“This life will make us old.”

“But we take the cards life deals us,”
“N, we gladly play that hand,”
“Cause, when you’re sittin’ horseback, son,”
“You don’t look up, to any man.”
G.Robertson
© 2009 GARY ROBERTSON