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Special Cowboy Poetry Feature

Spring/Summer 2004, Volume 21.3

Cowboy Poetry

Bob Urry

Photo of Bob Urry.

Bob Urry was born in Ogden, Utah. As a boy, he spent summers working on his grandfather's farm in West Weber, Utah. For several years he worked on cattle ranches near Big Piney, Wyoming. His poems are collected in his book A Rhyme For No Reason. Currently, he lives in West Weber, Utah, with his wife Alice, seven horses, two dogs, and numerous cats.

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

My son had on some cowboy boots
And a great big cowboy hat
He pulled his gun, said "Stick `em up"
Then shot me where I sat

I remembered back when I was young
I had a fancy rig
Two pearl handled cap guns
And boots a size too big

A black felt hat with white lace trim
And matching vest and chaps
And I could fan those six guns
And smoke them sulphur caps

I dreamed of being a cowboy
Like my heroes on TV
The Lone Ranger and Gene Autry
And Roy Rogers—my favorite three

Every Saturday morning
I'd watch them without fail
Then grab my hat and six-gun
And horse with broomstick tail

I'd ride in search of badmen
I was the local law
I'd take them in or shoot them down
With my lightning draw

Sometimes I'd be the bad guy
Like Frank or Jesse James
Or Billy the Kid or Ringo
or other famous names

And when I was the badman
I was dirty rotten mean
I'd always end up gettin' killed
So I could play the dying scene

It's funny now when looking back
How you go through different stages
The heroes that I've had through life
Have changed at different ages

In my teenage years my heroes
Weren't the ones on TV shows
They then became the cowboys
That were winning rodeos

Bill Linderman, Jim Shoulders,
Casey Tibbs and Freckles Brown
Especially Larry Mahan
The six-time all-around

My heroes were always cowboys
And they still are today
I'm proud to be a cowboy
And dress the cowboy way

With cowboy boots and cowboy hat
And a pair or Wrangler jeans
I'll keep dressin' up in cowboy clothes
And doin' cowboy things


Horse Poor

I bought me a horse and I bought me some tack
I built me a place to keep it out back
I bought some hay and I bought some grain
I bought a big tarp to keep off the rain

Then I was set, I had all that I need
I had a horse and I had some feed
Except, I needed a truck, and a horse trailer too
And a hat and some boots like a real buckaroo

I bought me a scabbard to carry my gun
I could use my horse hunting alone 'cept I only had one
Now it's not very safe to go hunting alone
But only one horse is all that I owned

So I started looking for another one
A gentle ol' horse for my wife or my son
I bought another saddle and I bought some more tack
And I built another stall on the shed out in back

Now the vet bills are more and the farrier too
It was twenty-five now it's fifty for shoes
The land that I own ain't as much as I need
So I rented some pasture to help with the feed

I got another job to pay for it all
Working part time at a store in the mall
With the money I make I can pay for it fine
Now, I'd like to go riding but I don't have the time.


The New Kid

A kid hired on with our outfit today
A young man still in his teens
The shirt he was wearing his mom must have made
And he was in need of a new pair of jeans

He came riding in on a big sorrel horse
More suited for pulling a plow
The boss took one look and then made him a trade
He's riding a better horse now

There's something about this kid that I like
Not his outfit or nothing he said
It's like judging the depth of a tough little horse
By the way he carries his head

I'll bet he's not long away from a farm
His hands are calloused and rough
His face shows his youth but his strength shows hard work
It's like he's boy-young but man-tough

I've been doin' this work for quite a few years
I've seen men and boys come and go
What you've done in the past is your business alone
And his past ain't important to know

Just an honest day's work for an honest day's pay
You hire to ride for the brand
I'm sure he can work and given a chance
I'll bet he'll make a mighty fine hand.

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