A Ranchwife’s Poems

The book club I’m in meets every month, and oftentimes the summer book club gatherings aren’t well attended because people are busy or gone. At July’s meeting, a few of us met along the shore of Stockade Lake, east of Custer just inside Custer State Park.

The host for July’s book club meeting chose poetry for our reading selection. She had copies of poems she thought would make good discussions. I didn’t get around to picking a copy up to read but I went mostly for the fellowship, food, and drinks like everybody else anyway. She also asked everyone to bring some of their favorite poems to read or share their favorite poet.

I showed up late, but still managed to get a plateful of food and had a beer to go with. I don’t read a lot of poetry, but did bring a couple books of poetry I enjoyed by Robert Service and Badger Clark—a well known poet laureate that had a cabin in Custer State Park. I also brought some poems I’d written of my own to read. It’s been years since I’ve done much poetry, but managed to find the book I keep my poems in.

I shared some of my favorite Robert Service and Badger Clark poems first, then read a few of mine. After reading some of my old stuff, one of my girlfriends wanted to know when they’d see my poems published. I don’t know that any of my poetry is worthy of book publishing, but thought readers might enjoy some of the poems I’ve written. I’m by no means professional at poem writing, but I never had intended to share them.

The first poem I read was about our first home. I wrote the poem in 1994; the same year we got married.

Newlywed’s Home

 Just beyond a small little town,
Together we settle our ground,
On a neat old place,
That brings a smile to my face.
Along with some acres is a home,
That we can call our own.
Here is a house , built pretty small,
Yet we stand here, proud and tall.
To the west stands a big old barn, all painted white,
And to me, the prettiest sight.
The walls are not built very far apart,
Making it easy to be nearer to the one dearest in my heart.
A house filled with pictures and things homemade,
Reminding us of our families and friendships we’ve made.
The biggest place it might not be,
But to us, it’s always a welcome sight to see.
So here I stand, beside my man as his wife,
Sharing together the simplest, but best things in life.

Before it got too dark, I read this poem. I wrote it when my husband and I were still dating, sometime in 1993 or 1994.

 The Old Grey Mare

 The Old Grey Mare, a man cannot ride
For she leaves an awful pain in your side

Old and grey, she surely is alright
But to try sitting tall on her is a disappointing sight

You can cuss her and kick ‘er by the rowel
But she won’t budge and inch or acknowledge a scowl

Givin’ a pinch in every nerve of your back
Not matter how you plead, she’ll cut you no slack

She sags in the middle like an old board plank
And you can’t dig in with your spur ‘cause she has no flank

You get up a cursin’ from the ache in your backside
Which enemy to pawn her off, you cannot decide

When you stand on your feet and howl “OUCH!”
To go shoot her you can’t, for the Old Grey Mare’s just a couch

This is one I didn’t read, but is about summertime and I wrote it in 1996 while we were still living in our first home.

Through My Window

The summertime sun wakes up quickly
Sunrise peaks over the hill at an early hour
Yet some sleepy heads still slumber
In our quiet little house
Warm summer air freshens the breeze
That familiar summer scent I love to inhale
Coming gently through my window
I open my eyes to dewey grass outside
And hear crickets singing their tune
So early in the morn, still hushed
A different kind of peace
Lingering through my window
Calling me to come out and see
Curtains softly flowing
Birds busy in chatter
I love this moment
All my senses awakened
In the most pleasant of ways
Summertime’s in full bloom
Though I think how fast it will go
I get up to look through my window

We’ll save the rest of my poems for another time. As with all of my writing, if you would like to share, copy or reprint, all I ask is that you ask permission and give me credit for the material I spend hours to perfect. I love to write and love to share. Thanks for understanding and respecting my work.

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