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Mornin’ Pard

Turning Point on Usal Beach
December 13, 2020
Forever Began When I Met You
December 14, 2020
I wanted to write a poem about my best friend; a man that I'd loved and shared with for more than 50 years. He and I had worked side by side as policemen in a small town. Cops tend to call their partners, "Pard", much like cowboys. I got to pondering about what relationship might be really close to a cowboy besides an obvious friend that he had ridden the river with. It occurred to me that, without question, it would be his horse. You might imagine the scrapes and challenges, fears and fun two cops might collect over the years just as a cowboy and his horse might have pert' near seen it all. This poem is the result of my blending that thought into a rhyme about my ol’ Pard, Conrad.

Mornin' Pard

Daybreak sneaks in early
Out here east of the divide
Long shadows cast some shade
Today'll be a scorchin’ ride

A puncher greets his gelding
Saddle and hack'more in hand
Mornin', Stretch, old Pard
'Nuther day, ridin' for the brand

You got to lay up yesterday
As I was mendin' the corral
But today we'll be back out there
Doubtless boostin’ our morale

We’ll trailer across the Milk
To see if’n we can make a change
By movin’ that small bunch o heifers
Out on the shortgrass range

Ain’t so many of us still get to
Earn our keep this way ol’ friend
But s’long as we get our squares
Reckon we’ll keep doin’ it 'til the end

Yep, it’s dang shore work
Troubles are always a’brew
But you and I both know
We’d not swap for anything new

Dang, Stretch, we sweet talk cattle
Under the sun and stars
I get to do it on your backside
‘Could be wrestlin traffic and cars

I know our days are numbered
Two less in the bunkhouse this year
But I don’t know what else we’d do
Ridin’ the grub line it might appear

Cowboyin’s all I know
It’s all I’ve ever done
No clue how I’d earn my way
Anything less wouldn't be no fun

And as for you m’friend
So far as this ol' hand can see
Cuttin cows is all your good for
‘Cept bein’ a good listener to me

So let’s get saddled n ready
‘Past time we loaded up
Now don’t start in a blowin’
Don’t make me call you Buttercup!

I’ll let you buck the rough off
But then let’s get to work
This is how we’ve spent our life
Today’s no time to shirk

Might see some pronghorn
Comin’ down off the Little Belt
Ahh it’ll be a good day ol’ son
Well, s’long as we don’t melt

Our days ain’t without limits
So let’s grab all we can catch
One day the Lord will call
Sayin’, “Come on home Stretch”

Comes a time a man’s just gotta tell
Guess I’m feelin a might sentimental
This friendship we’ve built
Well it ain’t just accidental

Friend we’ve stomped some snakes!
And rode the churnin’ river!
Might not a made it without ya
But you always did deliver

Just sayin' thanks Stretch
It’s been one admirable ride
Which ever of us goes first
Here’s t’meetin’ on the other side

By, Rik Goodell

© 2020

I appreciate the generosity of the Price family
in agreeing to allow me to post a copy of
this painting alongside my work.

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