August 24, 2008

A Cowboy's Pay

By the middle of October, all of our four children with either be married and living away, working out-of-state and living away or pursuing their education at a university. As their father I am very proud of the decisons they have made and of their numereous accomplishments, but still the same, this is a bitter-sweet time for me. It is a time. I have enjoyed our children and have taken great pleasure in watching them grow up and turn into responsible adults. Along the way we have had good times, hard times, fun times and a few bad times, but overall the ride has been a good one. Last night Peter drove off to college with his car packed with his personal stuff, KC will be doing the same later on as he moves to San Francisco to work as a business consultant. Erika - well we'll be driving her to college next week, but she insists we don't hover - just drop her off and leave, which we'll do. And Philip has been married for a while, owns his own home and has a good job. So - time for Kathie and I to figure out the rest of our lives as our kids take wing. The photo was taken some years ago on one of our family sleigh rides. KC is not in the picture as he was in Korea at the time. This poem is included on my CD Rimrock - Where Memories Rhyme.

A Cowboy’s Pay
by Paul Kern

Perhaps you’ll remember the time when they were weaned,
It takes some time for the human kind to go and break away,
But feelin’s of some twenty years come on all picked and cleaned,
And rise up high into my throat and stick – what else can I say?

Pretty soon the day-to-day becomes thoughts just memorized,
It was this way once or that way twice or was it meant to stay?
But what of the boy who took the jumps on a pony that I prized,
And left me breathless as he lifted off astride the dapple gray?

Perhaps it’s just a dusty blur those hopes of years now passed,
It’s something that I treasure and would never trade away,
But what of the boy who used to ride like it would be his last,
And worked along with no complaint in fields of fresh mown hay?

Poetic movement from his horse pure black and highly withered,
Is what I recall from the high-speed chase of cattle on that day,
But his saddle’s empty now and dry and cracked and weathered,
And he’s off a chasing his own dreams and heading on his way.

Perhaps it’s just a passing feeling or something that I dreamed,
It comes at times when I’m alone around the close of day,
But what of the girl who upon that paint sparkled as she beamed,
And broke him of his buckin’ vice like it was so much play?

Pretty soon they’ll all be gone these children we have had,
It seems they’re ridin’ flat out fast to go and make their way,
But the years we rode together have made me mighty glad,
And so we laugh when we look on back – this is a cowboy’s pay.

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