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Honor the Handshake

Ode to Harry Easton
February 12, 2021
Gift From a Lusty Holstein
February 23, 2021

Honor the Handshake

If you wanna connect with a cowboy
Whether to acknowledge or agree
Just do it like you mean it
Gettin' serious about your decree

Me, I wanna be looked in the eye
Speak your mind, don't squirm
Reach your hand out towards me
So we can both grip firm

No need to be goin’ all macho
Tryin’ t'impress me by your squeeze
Just make it firm and solid
‘Thout takin’ me down to m’knees

I'm a man of tradition
Got no use for bumpin’ fists
And ferheavensakes don't touch elbows
Lord, who makes up these lists?

For centuries it’s been a handshake
And out here in the west
It's how we draw our contracts
By which we do our best

It's not that we cain't write
Or we're short of paper and ink
No, it's just that a man's word
Ain't given with a wink

No lawyerin’ is needed
Where honor is still expected
When a cowboy says "I'll do it"
To that deed he's now directed

Commonly used as a greeting
But when coupled with your word
Handshakin’ signals a mind-meetin’
An agreement has been spurred

We don't need no courtroom
Our agreements to enforce
If you've taken my hand in bond
We have a contract, of course

Early on, so they tell me
A handshake was simple proof
You weren't holding a weapon
But solidifyin’ a peaceful truth

So let's go back to meaning
Let's use grandad's tradition
Man to man, just let's nod
Tossin’ away all suspicion

Out west here it's a known fact
To bein’ trendy we're not partialized
We're not opposed to change
Just don't want our ways marginalized

It rankles an’ leeries us a mite
To jump when fingers snap
Especially when the snapper's
Our traditions tryin’ to slap

It's not that we won't change
If doin’ so makes something better
But we're not gonna cancel culture
Just to copy some trendsetter

Don't intend to be offensive
Not holding myself above
But we set store by values
And being mindful thereof

Well there's my explanation
I mean to act with reason
I will not mindlessly mimic
Some athlete of choice this season

But if we can share decent values
Acknowledgin’ truth and right
Then, please, gimme your hand
And let's both grip tight

To extra-glue our mutual trust
If you wanna do a li’l somethin’ more
Gimme a slight grin with that nod
I'll know we as good as swore

By, Rik Goodell
<© 2021


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