October 01, 2008

Just Before They Closed the Door

It's been five years to the day since I finally lost Aspen my
palomino and subject of this poem. He was an excellent saddle and driving horse - just never could get him to pack. I bought Aspen from a kill pen near St. Anthony, Idaho. He had arrived on a truck from Wyoming, but no one seemed to know exactly from where. He had been separated out from the rest of the herd and was being haggled over by a couple of local cowboys. I ended up the high bidder and then bought the horse after a vet check. Over the four years that I owned Aspen, he developed navicular disease and eventually I lost him. I miss that horse but take comfort in knowing that I gave him several good years that he probably would not have had otherwise.

Just Before They Closed The Door
by Paul Kern

Just before they closed the door,
Of the death truck bound for never more,
Tied to a rail with head hung low,
Stood a gelded horse of golden glow.

Run through the rocks, thistles and sage,
Of old Wyoming, five years of age,
Four cracked hooves and tender feet,
Patiently waiting his death to meet.

Just across the northern border,
They take cash, check or money order,
Where many a ring-boned or heevy horse,
Has faced his end at the end of his course.

But why’s he there among this crowd?
This palomino so pretty - so proud?
Who can redeem him from the gore,
Of the death truck bound for never more?

I bid once, twice, thrice then four,
And bought this horse from never more.
New home, new shoes, new life and so,
Ran free the gelding of golden glow.

He’s proved to be a faithful friend,
Saved from the bullet of an early end,
And then I wondered about you and me,
Those who look but who cannot see.

Can He really save us as He said?
Will He buy us from the dead?
Or are we bound for that awful shore,
Door closed, fate sealed forever more?

Matter's litttle if you’re winded or worn,
He can redeem and make you reborn.
Before they close your lonesome door,
The choice is yours – ever or never more.

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