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The Good Hand Poem

The Good Hand

You can spot 'em the way they carry themselves
You can generally tell a good hand;
They're wiry and quiet and ready for a fight,
When they're pickin' out one from the band.

Nothing fancy, fact, nothing but cowboy
Some's natural..some's gotta be taught;
See, the punchers who always stand out in a crowd,
Don't use words like no or can't or not.

Now this cowboy's day set for makin'
Yet, something has gathered with a doubt;
And the match was struck to be battled,
Left the cowboy no pass or an out.

As he straddles the span of the worn, rough sawn chute
And lowers himself down on brown hide;
The taut, braided rawhide is set to his hand,
It's time now, he's ready to ride.

"Turn 'im out boys!" he musters, .. the gate now undone
The explosion that follows immense;
He throws himself forward, and digs with his spurs,
The gate slams loudly on fence.

A twist and a leap, the young brindle strains
The cowboy snaps quick to his right;
The first frenzied moments of violence now past,
He squares on dark hide for the fight.

The tight rosined grip slowly pulled from his hand
He's unseating now heartbeats away;
A leap and a turn, he starts to unhinge,
His victory will not come today.

Though the fate of the fearless is iffy
And the trials of life so unsure;
Some outcomes just can't be prepared for,
These losses each man must endure.

In the loose clay he tumbles, and rolls to his knees
Grabs his hat, wipes the dirt from his eyes;
"You made a good ride, son!" his pa hollers out
"Should cut you a calf more your size!"

You can spot them the way they carry themselves
You can generally tell a good hand;
They're wiry and quiet and ready for a fight,
When they're pickin' one out from the band.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted: Feb 27, 2011
About this poem:
I want to recognize those young ranch kids that live on the ranch every day. The future of the cowboy lifestyle lies in the hearts of the boys and girls on ranches all across America. And the mothers and fathers who wisely give them their lead. :)

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Comments (16)

  • hedistuff
    hedistuff Feb 2011 sand fork, West Virginia USA
    terrific...
  • Macduff5
    Macduff5 Feb 2011 Newcastle, New South Wales Australia
    Hi Mary,
    Good to see you well and truly back in the saddle again. We have a metaphor here which seems pretty appropriate to your poem..."if you get knocked off your horse...you get straight back on him."
    I've been reading up on those cowboy terms too. Guess you could call me a bit of a "chawbacon"...but I can appreciate your love of the Western cowboy image. cheers
  • Ladybee42
    Ladybee42 Feb 2011 East Liverpool, Ohio USA
    It must be hard to let them as a parent - watching them be tossed around and knowing the dangers that are present, good write ROS I heard the cowboy accent again! cowboy
    Can't help it I suppose, laugh

    thumbs up teddybear teddybear
  • FellsmanHidden Profile
    FellsmanHidden Profile Feb 2011 Lake District, Cumbria, England UK
    Hi Mary

    This is really impressive, you manage to capture the essence of the raw courage allied to well founded apprehension of the greenhorn putting his mettle to the test.

    I'm sure every reader was willing that young guy to stay aboard, and wishing him better luck next time...

    Superb tale telling yet again.

    Kind regards

    Bill x teddybear
  • andrew149
    andrew149 Feb 2011 Southbourne, nr.Bournemouth, Dorset, England UK
    A lovely poem RoS....thankyou.....xxxcool
  • caroljoyceHidden Profile
    caroljoyceHidden Profile Feb 2011 Manchester, Greater Manchester, England UK
    Well described. Film like quality to me, as I have never seen a cowboy. If I met one, I expect I would burst out laughing!
  • swade777Hidden Profile
    swade777Hidden Profile Feb 2011 Grants Pass Area, Oregon USA
    As good as the poem it's self is, .... the acknowledgment of those parents that wisely give them the lead is just as good! "Momma's 'DO' let yer boy's grow up to be cowboys!"

    Our country sure needs those strong charactered young men with strong moral and ethical standards!!

    As usual.... FANTASTIC write!!!
  • gnj4u
    gnj4u Feb 2011 Boston, Massachusetts USA
    Hi, Mary,
    Your poem brought images of SD's Deadwood Rodeo to my mind's eye. Enjoyed this window into your world.
  • ReaderOfSouls
    ReaderOfSoulsOP Feb 2011 unknown, Texas USA
    Howdy hedi cowboy

    Glad you liked it. :)
  • ReaderOfSouls
    ReaderOfSoulsOP Feb 2011 unknown, Texas USA
    Howdy Rob cowboy

    We have a similar saying here, "If you get thrown off your horse, dust yourself off and get back on and ride!" You're more a greenhorn than chawbacon. wink laugh I have another poem of this topic, sadly it far exceeds the word limit. I've tried to shorten it, but it takes away the meaning. Bill has read it though. :)
  • ReaderOfSouls
    ReaderOfSoulsOP Feb 2011 unknown, Texas USA
    Howdy Ladybee cowboy

    Ranch parents worry about their offspring like any parent does, but holdin' 'em back, does no good. The youngsters tend to kick the stalls apart. laugh So the parents give 'em their lead and they become something to wonder at and be so proud of. :) Yep, the accent is comin' back. You've heard my voice, so you know I haven't a Texas accent, but I'm around it constantly. Little wonder it shows up in my writing. :)
  • ReaderOfSouls
    ReaderOfSoulsOP Feb 2011 unknown, Texas USA
    Howdy Bill cowboy

    These are no greenhorns riding, but children and teens, to young adults straddling those calves, steers and on to bulls. :) We start 'em young riding sheep called "Mutton Bustin'". :) Little ones as young as 3-4 years old.Both boys and girls holding wool and riding for their lives. The sheep don''t tend to buck but haul around the arena at a high rate of speed. Some of those little ones can really ride! :)

    They know that they won't always win, but they sure give it everything they've got. :)
  • ReaderOfSouls
    ReaderOfSoulsOP Feb 2011 unknown, Texas USA
    Glad you liked it, Andrew. cowboy hug heart wings teddybear
  • ReaderOfSouls
    ReaderOfSoulsOP Feb 2011 unknown, Texas USA
    Howdy CJ cowboy

    The feller in this poem is actually a young boy. We teach 'em manners from Day One so you'd likely be met with a "Howdy, Ma'am". An older cowboy would greet you just as mannerly and would likely be taken with you. :)
  • ReaderOfSouls
    ReaderOfSoulsOP Feb 2011 unknown, Texas USA
    Howdy Swade cowboy

    It's the parents who let us grow up as we will, teaching manners and life skills, loving us each moment and guiding to the best of their ability. We can't thank them enough. :) You'd be amazed how many cowboys are in the Armed Services and in the workforce. Good, honest, hardworking promise keepers and they tend to keep their word. If you want, shoot me an e-mail with your e-mail address and I'll send you a poem that sadly doesn't fit here because of the word limit. :)
  • ReaderOfSouls
    ReaderOfSoulsOP Mar 2011 unknown, Texas USA
    Howdy gnj4u cowboy

    Deadwood Rodeo- never competed in it,as I was in another circuit but loved the area while visiting with my family in my teens. :) I don't get to rodeos as much as I used to due to work and ranch duties, but have always enjoyed them. :) Glad this gave you a view into my world. :) hug heart wings teddybear
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