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Longest Trail Home (A Christmas Mystery)

The whispering white crept through the night
The cold gnawed right to the bone
The eerie hue of cobalt blue
Gave shadows a life of their own

The rider and horse stayed their course
Ice drooped from bridle and brim
While waves of snow continued to grow
Making trails heavy and dim

Vapors were steamin' and lungs were screamin'
Icy spears penetrated inside
Limbs paid the cost as fingers of frost
Gave warmth no place to hide

Toward they surged and soon emerged
In a labyrinth of pine scented bough
A welcome respite from the hellish cold night
Where the norther continued to howl

Out of the weather he unhitched the leather
And of branches he made a soft bed
His thirst was slaked from the melting of flakes
The warming flames danced orange and red

Another dusk; another dawn, the storm raged on
A savage but hypnotic symphony
A wild moan and whistle that made life bristle
Entombed in all that white canopy

The winter has passed, it's spring at long last
Summer's heat has made its yearly call
And night becomes longer; winds seem to get stronger
Caressing trees and leaves start to fall

Old Sol in the sky marks years passing by
A century has come and gone
A Bible's pages have yellowed through ages
Listing those born and those who've passed on

A blurred entry remarked on page three
Of a grandfather missing along the way
Never resolved and this mystery unsolved
Puzzles all to this very day

In a thicket of pine grown up over time
Rest the bones of horse and rider unknown
And in the cold of December folks pause to remember
A cowboy who didn't get home.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted: Dec 2010
About this poem:
A cowboy Christmas memory that still lives with my family to this very day.

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Comments (10)

niah9online today!
Wonderful tale ROS.....well told....and sad...Niahcomfort hug teddybear
ReaderOfSoulsonline today!
Thank you, niah. hug This had happened to a relative of my grandfather's..I'd heard the story growing up and he'd showed me the family Bible a few times. It's still unsolved to this day.

High class story telling and rhyme: That this is a factual narrative adds even further to the poignancy of the tale. An enjoyable read......

Best wishes

Bill thumbs up sad flower
kind of sad but very nice poem
Hi, ReaderOfSouls,
Limbs paid the cost as fingers of frost Gave warmth no place to hide captures well the cost of the white beauty, neutral in its cold. We oft forget the challenges many faced and others continue to face in living their daily lives. Oh, how you do tell a story well - and in rhyme!
ReaderOfSoulsonline today!
Thank you all so very much for your kind words. :)hug I believe that a poem should tell a story and involve the reader to the very last word. Some of us never make it back because of the weather. While very beautiful, it does have its dangers and that always lays at the back of the mind every time I step out into it.

I am late in the reading
the cowboy story receding
but still i am warmed with your tale

the clip clopping cadence
the fires warm radiance
speak of joys and sorrows travail

trurorobonline today!
nice story if a little sad, but had it all
ReaderOfSoulsonline today!
This Christmas Mystery has been solved this year. applause

My grandfather is in his 90's. He can no longer ride, but still enjoys sitting on the porch, watching time and the weather. He received a call this past Spring asking to contribute some blood samples as some bones were found on the old ranch by the new owners who were out and exploring that certain section.

Turns out as he's the only living relative left that the bones of the missing cowboy were found and he's a relative of my grandfather. The bones of the cowboy along with his horse were given a Christian burial in the local cemetary. I can only pray that he's finally at peace.
ReaderOfSoulsonline today!
A Christmas Mystery for you all. cowboy
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