Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cowboy Poet's Corner: "Winter in Wyoming" by Stan Tixier

Winter in Wyoming
By Stan Tixier, SRM Utah Section Member

It was winter in Wyoming, it was thirty-five below,
The ground was white and frozen, it was way too cold to snow,
The wind had been a-blowin', clouds a-streakin' crost the sky,
With not a fence a-showin' 'cause the drifts were eight feet high.

There was precious little forage for the livestock or the game,
All the hay stacks near depleted and the silos much the same,
The water lines were frozen up, some busted clear apart,
The barn door wouldn't open and the pickup wouldn't start.

'Cause the diesel fuel was jelly, there was no way it could flow,
The wood pile was exhausted and the propane tank was low,
But cows had started calvin', as is normal in such years,
Most calves survived it somehow, but with little froze-off ears.

Conditions, very likely, was the same for miles around,
But I didn't know for certain, 'cause the phone lines all was down,
The radio would crackle every time I turned it on,
At last it went plum silent 'cause the batteries was gone.

Yeah, the barn door wouldn't open, and the corral gate, the same,
But it didn't really matter, 'cause my saddle horse was lame,
I'z hopin' that a warm Chinook might blow in from the east,
But the winter had to linger for a couple months at least.

I maybe had pneumonia, or perhaps it was the flu,
All I knew was, I felt rotten, and my nose was runnin' too,
I spent a lotta' time in bed, 'ain't sure exactly why,
The only place I could stay warm, and handy should I die.

But I vowed things would be different, and I'd not have to contend
With dreadful cold conditions, and near lose it all again,
I figured I'd just sell out, move to somplace that was hot,
Arizona, south of Tucson, where it doesn't snow a lot.

Well, I somehow did survive it, and I didn't lose a cow,
'Cause the spring arrived on schedule, and we all thawed out somehow,
But really was a cold one, I could feel it in my toes,
'Cause despite three pairs of stockin's, four or five of 'em was froze.

Well, I'm tellin' you my troubles 'bout the time I had last year,
When disaster come a-callin' and it passed by really near,
So I'm writin' now to tell ya, 'cause I thought you'd like to know
That it's winter in Wyoming, and it's thirty-five below!

From the book:
A Better Lookin' Horse: Cowboy Poetry and Other Verse (2003) by Stan Tixier

Want more cowboy poetry?  Poetry books and CDs by Stan Tixier are available for purchase from Western Heritage Company, 1-800-303-5703.  And don't worry, Cowboy Poet's Corner will continue to post to the SRM blog in coming months.

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