Story Sunday: Cowboy Compliments
Waiting out a Storm
I hear the old men chatting, they discuss the comings and goings of the land,
They say there's a new trainer set up down the way, they say he is quite the hand.
'Round here the word of lore is not written in newspapers or passed on bills,
But instead, is spoken through the pursed and wrinkled lips of ranchers who have tended to these hills.
I can't help but eavesdrop as I drag my heels through the silt and sand,
For one of the highest compliments given in these parts is to be called, "a hand."
I look down at my own, and can't help but let out a quiet sigh,
They seem a cheap imitation - a deerskin gloved, yellow stained - lie.
But deep down in my heart, I know that's what I crave,
To hear those men praise me, to comment - "she's pretty brave,
She rides those broncy babies real pretty,
and sure does it all in style,
She sure has quite the handle on those finished horses & just the right amount of gile."
And some days when my hands feel like they could break,
When the bridle reins throughout the day are all that they can take,
And looking down upon them I see them caked in dirt and sweat and grime,
They clasp together, rough and callused and I can hardly call them mine.
I wonder how they could hold any finesse at all,
For most days my hands feel useless, and for this job much too small.
Under weathered brim I watch those old men discuss the comings and goings of this land,
I clench my own together and pray that one day I will be called a hand.