parallax background

Provin’ Up Wise

Save The Cowboy
August 10, 2021
Comfortin’ SonRise
August 24, 2021


Provin' Up Wise

Times were sparse on our spread
Cash money bein’ mighty rare
Seems dry dirt farmin ain't about prosperin’
But ekein’ out on balin’ wire and prayer

Oh we reg'lar had enough to eat
And plenty to do for avoidin' idle hands
But every season came with a question
What were gonna be its demands?

Tryin’ to keep it all together
We run a small herd of shorthorn
Fed 'em mostly on open range
Mixed in with croppin' some corn

Me, I was a stretchin' into manhood
Bein’ on the far side of seventeen and all
Pa, he didn't see it that way
Sayin' you ain't a man just cuz you're tall

So I set out to get proved up
To go make a mark of my own
Pa ’n me had harsh words as I left
Them were the black seeds I'd sown

I set about to findin’ work
Fillin’ the need for eatin’ and sleepin’
Farms an ranches were in a dry season
Folks weren't keen on an extra mouth keepin’

On hindsight I reckon I was startin’ to grow
This provin’ up thing would be hard
Constantly fetchin’ for survival
Each day catchin’ me off guard

So I drifted here and there
Consumin’ morsels as I found them
Mostly I was swallowin’ pride
And startin’ to see my Pa was a gem

Home was much better lookin' back
Ma's cookin' I was sorely missin’
Thoughts dwellin’ on that O'Reilly girl
The redhead who one night I'd been kissin’

Suddenly it ambushed me
Hittin’ me like the kick of a mule
There it was in front of me
I'd been a fool for breakin' every rule

I seemed headed to nowhere
I sure was long disconnected
Across a longer stretch of lonesome
Makin my mark weren't quite as expected

I began wonderin if Pa would take me back
After twistin such a knot in his tail
But there was only one way of knowin'
So I up an' cut me a home trail

I'd been gone near a year
When I walked up to the place it showed
Instantly I could see that
Pa hadn't kept up with the workload

It was strange to not just walk in
But to rap on the screen door instead
Ma came to the door all draggin'
As if she'd gotten off her deathbed

I hugged her as she welcomed me home
I inquired 'bout my brother and Pa
Pa he was deathly sick in bed
And my brother'd run off with some outlaw

Seein' Ma n Pa not well I came round to thinkin’
How selfish I had been to run-hide
Clearly a real man would'a had stick
While with his needin’ kin he'd abide

Pa was shore 'nuff glad to see me
He started feelin better after a week
Things were lookin up daily
We even got some rain for a streak

I told Pa I'd grown some while gone
That I'd shor‘nuff been a dupe
He smiled sayin’ that's okay son
Even a good hand can miss his loop

That humbled me, waterin' my eyes a mite
Pa bein’ so blind to my transgression
‘Bout like my heavenly Father does
As soon as I get 'round to confessin'

Well Pa eventually got stronger
Ma was back to makin pies
Today we'd get that north forty planted
Me? Well I just might prove up wise


By, Rik Goodell

© 2021


error: Alert: Content is protected !!