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Grudge Carryin’ Don’t Pay

Wanna’ Cowboy Do Ya’?
March 6, 2023
Proposin’ to a PK
March 10, 2023

The Bible tells me to forgive others and most of us know that can be a lot easier to say than it is to do. But God doesn't just tell us to do that because it is a nice thing to do and not only because He forgave us as an example.  No, He also tells us to forgive because doing so lightens our load, easing our burdens. Why would we allow some negative issue to occupy a space in our hearts without paying rent?   Failing to forgive can have some pretty negative, even deadly, results.

Grudge Carryin’ Don’t Pay

The moon had set; it was dark and cloudy
When I rode back onto our spread
I planned it that way of a purpose
There'd been trouble years back when I'd fled

I figured on scoutin', renewing my perspective 
Fetch up on bearings and the lay of the place
Maybe I could do it some unnoticed
If I moved quiet with a touch of God's grace

The morning sun crept through the window
Of Pa's cabin, a memory filled abode
As I quietly pondered my hot Arbuckles
Spade tail waggin’ in the only home I’d knowed

Then they were set upon me like
The suddenest thunder you ever heard
Bullets thwacking off the cabin walls
Without so much as a called-out word

Not only had I grown to manhood
In the years I'd been gone afield
But I'd built me a right-solid outfit
I'd come back armed and well-heeled

Peekin' through one of Pa’s loopholes
I spied two of 'em makin' for the door
Buckshot flew from both barrels of my Greener
They'd not be a'botherin' folks anymore

I didn't come home a'huntin trouble
But hoped them Borlands had moved on
Yet if they brought it to my doorstep
It would be unsociable to not respond

The sporadic shootin' wore on towards dark
I had plenty grub and water and ammo
Figured I was good a week at least
Pa'd built the cabin for defense in this meadow

When I had killed three more attackers
I reckoned their fight was gone
Come full dark I'd explore in moccasins
Then head in to town for supplies at dawn

I often smelled trouble before I could name it
A survival sense from wary-life livin'
Of ridin' dark trails in lonely lands
And circlin' plenty wide 'round misgivin'

As I cautiously made my way into town
My neck hairs suddenly raised alarm
I quickly moved into keen, mindful alert
Scannin' about for whatever might harm

No bustlin' folks out on the boardwalks
The town bore a rare absence of sound
The kind of quiet that comes creepin'
Just before a ragin' storm hits the ground

The ricochetin’ bullet hit my saddle horn
Sending it whinin' off down the dirt road
My gelding jumped, boltin' fast away
Savin’ me from angry bullets that followed

There's a time for standin' ground an' fightin'
Another's a time for high-tailin' scatter
As I didn't know the town or the shooters
My judgment pointed me to the latter

Nonetheless I was up to my mustache
In bein' bushwhacked and set upon
My heart might'a been on the foolish side
As I wheeled that roan hollerin', "Come on!"

We dashed back through town at full gallop
My short gun stretched out at shoulder eye level
Huntin' the shooter as my target
Ready to move up his date with the devil

Shots rang out from behind the livery
My Confederate Navy Colt roared, killin’ him
A second report quick bellowed from a rooftop
I gut-shot that shooter who’d holed my hat brim

Wheelin' that gelding around in a spin
My wheelgun beggin' for another to shoot
But none showed, the fight was over
I'd killed them that'd started the dispute

I did a quick reload by swappin' cylinders
Then dismounted to go check the dead men
The town marshal showed then sayin',
"Reckon these Borlands won't trouble me again"

"There are five more dead ones Marshal
You'll find 'em at my cabin on Sutter Creek"
"Good. Ya know, your pa once saved my life Son
It's a shinin' pleasure to see you home Zeke"

by Rik Goodell

© 2023 All rights reserved

Thank you Gregory Mayse for once again providing your excellent artwork to accompany my poetry. You've provided a number of fine art pieces to either inspire or flesh-out my rhyming stories.

To see more of Mr. Mayse's work, visit his website:


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