COWBOY POETRY: Worn Out Corral

Cowboy poet Bryce Angell

The campfire was a welcome sight. We’d ridden most the day. We led the horses to the corral, then tossed in bales of hay.

The corral had seen some better years. We thought it looked worn out. I’ll bet the corral had stories you could ramble on about.

The posts were all of juniper. They’d lasted many years. But the poles were torn and broken from those wild and angry steers.

As cowboys do, we always brought a roll of baler twine. The string served many purposes from rope to fishing line.

We tied the corral together and were proud of what we built. One cowboy said, “It sure looks like my Grandma’s patched up quilt.”

We wolfed down spuds and gravy, climbed in bags and hit the light. Then woke up to the sounds of hell! I’d say around midnight.

A half a dozen cowboys stumbled out with pistols drawn. One cowboy stood there freezing, only whitey-tidies on.

The racket came from in the corral. ‘Twas pandemonium! The horses were so loud that it could crack your cranium!

We shined our lights out in the corral. A steer was in the midst. He’d jumped the fence and scared the horses half out of their wits.

The steer was chowing down the hay. He meant to cause no strife. But for sure was not about to leave the best meal of his life.

We settled down the horses, then we tied each to a tree. The time was nearly two o’clock or maybe even three.

The steer was gone by daylight. He had caused his share of grief. I said, “If he comes back again I’m turning him to beef!”

Now the old corral was empty. It was tied and torn about. Guess I’d never seen a corral that couldn’t keep a critter out.

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