Time was when I could step into
A high stirrup and swing
My leg over a tall, ridin' cantle
Like it weren't anything.
Back in the day when at sunup
The mare would buck her kinks out
I just took it in stride, fact is,
I cottoned to it as a sprout.
In those decades gone by
I could wrestle a frisky steer,
Ride all day, ropin’ or brandin’
Then spend all night a’drinkin’ beer.
Of late I'm acknowledgin’ a sneakin’ change,
Been denyin' it for years now.
But each day finds me puttin’ boots on
Whilst gruntin’ like a winded, roped cow.
My legs musta gotten longer
Or the floors much farther away.
And when I pull my boots on
My gut now gets in the way.
Muscles don't seem to work so well
Ain’t so strong as when I was forty.
Dang newspaper’s using finer print
And my arms have grown all shorty.
So many common tasks these days
Are accompanied with moaning
What I used to do with ease
Now includes involuntary groaning.
Even after strong coffee,
When tryin’ to read at daybreak
I jerk when the book hits the floor.
Hard to read when you ain’t awake.
In fact too often it seems
I won't remember your name.
Tho’ we’ve wintered in a line shack.
Embarrasin’; it causes me shame.
But I don't mean to complain.
Please don’t go misunderstandin’.
Don’t hear this as ingratitude though
My body I’m scarcely commandin’.
It's just that m’saddle has transferred
Its creakin’s into my joints.
When a man caint do what he's always done
It troubles and fearsome disappoints.
Not sure what I had for breakfast.
My breathing has turned into pants.
The list of what I can do
Is much shorter now than my can'ts.
But I'm still upright after a fashion
I still can muster a smile
There's a lot to give thanks for
Whilst gettin’ through this trial.
But mostly my gratitude bends
Towards a life that's been a touch rough.
If'n I hadn't learned to endure
My strength might be short of enough.
When a man saddles his last broncs,
And he gets to be out of date,
He better be facing some facts.
Ain't no time to procrastinate.
But you can bet all-in that,
If you stick around long enough,
You’ll begin to lose capacity
The goin’s gonna get rough.
If’n you don't want to have bones
That squeak like ol’ saddle skirts
Seems ya better die young
Elseways your body’s headin’ for hurts.
But take it from and old hand
Who’s smack in the midst of these shifts,
It’s better to’ve stuck around while
Scrappin’ with declining I drifts.
Yep, usin’ this ‘ol body gets harder
Ain’t no option but to quit.
Yet I’m gratefully able to stand here
Testifyin' I wouldn't've missed one bit!
By, Rik Goodell