Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jake and Shorty

Some folks might question the value of poetry about cowboys, but I hope you enjoy the story of Jake and Shorty.

               JAKE AND SHORTY

The day was hot when he was born
Midst bushes low and full of thorns.
Without the aid of doctor’s skill,
Just mid-wife and his mother’s will.
With serenade of howling wind.
In shanty house with roof of tin.

And there he grew, a ranch-hand’s son.
He learned to ride and use a gun.
Roping, throwing, branding steers
Hard work hardened through the years.
A lot of man on stubby frame,
Shorty Briscoe was his name.

Jake Reed was another hand.
He and Shorty raised some sand.
They worked from dawn to setting sun,
Then went to town when work was done.
Jake was tall, wiry and hard,
And Shorty Briscoe was his Pard.

One weekend when the work was done
They rode to town to have some fun.
Ambling through the swinging door
At Pecos Rose’s as before.
They spied a stranger standing there
A fancy Dan with perfumed hair.

The stranger’s gun was tied down low
With yellowed ivory grips for show.
His eyes were steely gray and mean,
Soft hands with fingers long and lean.
He drank alone, but glanced their way
Inviting them to make a play.

Jake just laughed and turned away.
A grave mistake - He’d make them pay.
The stranger called for Jake to draw.
Jake moved and faced the pale outlaw.
The gunman’s move was smooth and fast
Jake hit the floor ‘neath fiery blast.
There was Shorty standing tall.
The bullet missed and hit the wall.
The shootist knew he’d erred that day
As Shorty Briscoe blazed away.
When smoke had cleared, the stranger fell;
Jake stood up alive and well.

 Dennis Price

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