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“Mama, when’s Daddy comin’ home? Is it time to worry yet?”
“By supper, darlin’. Eat your Cheerios.”
He rode out this morning early. Like he does six days a week
I always make him tell me where he goes
’Specially when I know he’s headed over on the canyon side
At least I know I’ll have a place to start
So in case he doesn’'t come back I can hunt for him myself
Or go for help if I get faint of heart
“Run and git your schoolbooks, kiddos! And be sure to wash yer hands.”
“Aw Mama, do we have to school today?”
If it wasn’t for home schooling I might lose what mind I’ve got
It helps to pass the daylight time away
And I know I shouldn’t worry but I worry anyway
Who wouldn’t, if they were in my shoes
I’ve been up those rocky canyons and I’ve seen those snaky trails
I know how quick a horse can blow a fuse
“Mama, Cody said a swear word.” “I did not!” “Did too!” “Did not!”
“I only said Ring went to the commode.”
Oh, thank God I've got these children just to keep me occupied
But still I’m always lookin’' down the road
All afternoon I’ve watched the sky. It’s like I'm playin’ poker
You don’tt know how I fear an angry cloud
And the wind gives me the shivers. Never lets me drop my guard.
Nothin’ like it whispers quite so loud
“Mama, when's Daddy comin’ home? Shouldn’t he be home by now?
We wanna ride before it gets too dark."
And the hardest time for me I guess is now till six o’clock
I’m nervous till I hear the home dogs bark
But the kids are my salvation. ’Course, they wanna be like Dad
He saddles up their horse and lets’em go
And I stand here by the window thinkin’ “H'here we go again”
But they’re cowboyin’, the only life they know
“Mama, look! Oh, here comes Daddy. That's him trottin' up the road.
He's wavin’, now he’s comin’ through the gate.”
“See, I told you kids be patient, not to get your dander up . . .”
And learn to wait, and wait and wait and wait.
Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, former large-animal veterinarian and entertainer of the agricultural masses. Learn more at www.baxterblack.com.