I wanted to write a poem that could be recited by, and related to by, a lady. There is a line in the lyrics of an old song, "Sunny Side Up", that goes like this: "If you have nine sons in a row, baseball teams make money you know". What if that scenario were reversed and a rancher had only daughters to work the family spread? Women make very capable cowhands. When pondering a ranch family that had no sons, only daughters, I stuffed the lyrics and ranching into a funnel and the following poem emerged out the other side.
Watchin' my granddaughter play
All gigglin' and squealin'
Prayin' I live long enough
To see how with later life she'll be dealin'
She'll face a different world than I
Though I 'spect she'll face a tough one too.
But maybe she won't be called buckarette like me
But a full fledged buckaroo.
Poor Daddy always wanted boys
To help him work the spread.
But instead'a makin' cowboys
Mother produced cowgirls instead.
It weren't that he didn't love his daughters
But he needed strong hands
To share the ranch load a'chorin
But boys weren't in God's plans
He and Mother kept tryin'
To build 'em a male posse
But all they got was girls and curls
Gigglin, sweet and saucy.
Got to hand it to Mother and Daddy
They didn't show no quit
But after the ninth girl
Daddy seemed to finally admit
There weren't gonna be no boys
For ropin', brandin' and cuttin'
He'd have make his crew into cowgirls
It was either that or nuttin'!
I was the last girl in the string
Yep I was disappointment number nine
But I was also the one who
Made Daddy finally draw the line
He began teachin' my sisters
They could most already ride
But as we began to cotton to cowboyin'
I noticed Daddy gatherin' in some pride.
My oldest sister Billie
Actually proved amazin' at ropin'
When Jamie got good at heelin'
Pa seemed to finally start in a'hopin'
Roberta was skilled at leatherwork
She'd mend all harness and tack
Paula surely proved her worth
After vet school showin' her doctorin' knack
Louise became an expert
At buildin', carpentry and fencin'
Johnna could get an iron hot quick
Hundreds of marked calves dispensin'.
Carla was an all 'round hand
Purt' near good as any cowboy
And when it came to horse trainin'
Watchin' Georgia was a special treat to enjoy
And then I came along
Daddy named me Mary Kate Nine
He stopped wishing for boys
Decidin' cowgirls would work the place just fine
We ran that ranch as a family
Same as the three generations before
Later years Daddy would coffee at the diner
And brag on we cowhands by which he set store
We sister's all worked in harmony
Each knowin' her very own cup
Whenever any of us needed a hand
The rest were quick to cowgirl up
Well now Daddy's a great grandpa
But, still ain't no boys here on the spread
And Daddy wouldn't have it any other way.
He says his girls are all thoroughbred
Most neighbors in the valley
Referred to me as a buckarette.
But keep an eye on my granddaughter
Because Friend, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
By, Rik Goodell