Baxter Black

Black

When the crew came toward the cookhouse Hazel shut and locked the door.

“Don’t you even think about it! Looks like y’all been in a war.”

And though Hazel didn’t know it, she was not far off the track

They’d been workin’ pasture cattle and them critters could fight back!

All that grass that they’d been eatin’ lubricated their insides

Plus those cows were full as dog ticks and a little loose besides

So when squeezed in some tight corner they could aim their guns at will

And bombard that crew of cowboys with recycled chlorophyll.

Now it’s only grass and water as you’ll hear the pundits say,

But I’m here to tell ya, pardners, their performance on that day

Was a duck and run Olympics, a projectile Superbowl,

A team of Dutch boys at the dike who couldn’t find the hole.

Willie got hit when his hot shot caught a big one by surprise.

With one long blast she turned him into split pea soup with eyes.

Big Sam looked like seaweed when his beard took several shots

And Pedro’s fancy brand new hat got covered with the trots.

A broadside fired from point-blank range went down O’Malley’s shirt.

He emptied out the vaccine gun, she matched him squirt for squirt.

Then Frank got trapped behind a gate and watched with some concern

While the bunch backed up and measured him and each one took a turn.

It was hangin’ off their hat brim, it was drippin’ off their clothes

It was in their eyes, in their ears and prob’ly up their nose.

Not a cowboy was untainted, not a dog escaped the muck,

Not a standin’ stick, a saddle horse, a whip or chute or truck

Was immune to their propellant. They resembled works of art

Like guacamole statuettes or cow pie ala carte.

Hazel backed’em to the spigot and stood beside the trough,

“Though we’ll never change your cowboy ways, we’ll hose the outside off.”

Sam was lookin’ at O’Malley, “Is this what they really mean

When an Irish cowboy celebrates the wearin’ of the green?”

“I don’t think so,” said O’Malley, “But when I see cows eat grass

I’ll always be reminded of that phrase, ‘this too shall pass.’”

Baxter Black is a cowboy, veterinarian, poet and humorist. His website is www.baxterblack.com.