This poem was inspired by, "Rusty", an iconic painting by David DeVary. It strikes me that this woman is striding toward a purpose and suggests you'd best not be standing in her path. She's probably not going grocery shopping, but she might have a good rile on that she's on fixin' to handle.
Honor & Cherish
We all came to town every Thursday
We said it was just for supplies
But, truth be told it was for socializin' too
A thing I long ago came to realize
Typically Chin Lee drove the buckboard
For gatherin' up his kitchen wants
My bride and I rode in a'horseback
Splittin' up briefly to our favorite haunts
Lilly usually stopped at the millinery
Or for gossipin' at the dry goods store
Me I went to see pards at the Broken Spoke
The latest, local goins-on to explore
So yesterday I'm finishing my first beer
After swapping lies with my ol' pard Ty
When this painted-up filly orders a drink and
Starts in a'starin' and givin me the eye
I turned my back to her easy-like
Not wanting to be impolite or rude
But I learned about temptation long ago
Nip it quick to avoid feelin' lewd
Well that didn't curtail this Jezebel none
She just waltzed around to my other side
Now I'm on the downhill side of fifty
Long past havin' good looks in my pride
I'd never seen this gal before
And ours is a known-for-friendly town
So I tipped my hat in a howdy gesture
She says, "I'm new here, wanna show me around?"
"Well ma'am here's what I'm thinkin'
That probably wouldn't be wise
No question you're mighty pretty and all
But aint no way I'm tryin' you on for size"
See, I gave my word to my bride
Did so before her Dad and God
Sure, you might be a brief diversion
But, please, just stop givin’ me the prod
"Whoa hey! You are persistent aintcha?
I'll give you that attribute well enough
But you might be a little hard a hearin'
Sorry ma'am, no, I'm givin' you a rebuff"
"But if you won't take my 'no' for an answer
Then I've another suggestion for you
I'm thinkin' after you've done it
You'll rustle up someone else to pursue"
"See that long, tall, redhead in a duster
Sittin' outside those batwings on that bay?
Yep that's her a'watchin' on us
She might have something to say"
"Mosey out and tell her what you're proposin'
Have yourselves a little, girl-to-girl chat
Come back and tell me her comments
That is, if you can still walk after that"
Now I'd never before been one
To ask my wife to stomp my snakes
But I'm not a hand at fightin' wimmenfolk
Comes a time a man's gotta do what it takes
Well you mighta guessed it
Miss Stranger never did go see Lilly
Cuz when she saw my wife stridin' at her
She cut a trail out the back door willy-nilly
Laughing, I gave Lilly a big hug
And then kissed her long like a scandal
She asked, "Having some trouble Hon?"
"No Darlin', nothin you cain't handle!"
Now I'm not a wisdom-filled Sage
So I don't normally give men advice
However there is one thing I'll share
Without having to think about it twice
If you've been blessed to have
One of God's daughters hitch up with you
Guard her love and trust with your life
It's what He's shore 'nuff told us to do
We husbands on our wedding day
When we were all excited at our victory catch
Vowed to Love, Honor and Cherish
It's how we keep our God-given match
by Rik Goodell
© 2023 All rights reserved
This iconic painting is by David DeVary to whom I give thanks for permission to post it here.
To see more of his work, go to his website: