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Teachin’ Without Words

Turning Point
April 26, 2022
No Routine Days
May 10, 2022

Teachin' Without Words

A boy really needs a father
Of course a girl sure does too
Ya know, they say Dad is destiny
And I believe that saying is true

My father didn't understand that
Though I reckon he did his best
But I was determined to break that trend
To my son, giving me would be my quest

See, I fancy God instills natural in a man
A hankerin' to solid pass along
The values and lessons he's learned
Directin' his young-uns to grow strong

Livin’ on a workin' cattle ranch
I used up most days on our own spread
My son shadowed, learnin' to do as I did
Not only to do as I said

Little Joel was a'horseback
Shortly after he learned to walk
By the time he turned a mere five
He was helpin’ out, workin' our stock

We were side by side most days
Whether chorin' or tendin' herd
We got to where we'd just nod
Without needin' to speak a word

I taught him how to build a loop
Showed him headin' and heelin'
Seein' him win his first buckle
Sure was a pearl-snap-poppin' feelin'

By this time we'd become saddle partners
Cain't find no words in my head or heart
Expressing man-to-mannin' with my own son
Nor to convey the relish of that part

That was all real good for sure
His help runnin' the place was essential
But he learned more important things
Behaviors to manifest his full potential

See, I knew he'd be close-watchin' me
So when I gave my word I kept it
And when we gathered for dinner
I pulled out, for my bride, a chair to sit

I reg'lar led my family in studyin' The Word
We prayed together at the start of the day
Helpin' active 'round our church
Workin' to keep the enemy at bay

I wanted to model bein' respectful
To exhibit and instill genuine humility
Hopin' he'd engage the good traits
That would guide him to his full ability

Oh, I made my share of mistakes
But tried hard to apologize when wrong
And I demonstrated that forgivin' others
Would actually show a man was strong

His teenage years weren't without blemish
Joel got into a tough scrape or two
He gave-in to some bad temptations
Stumbling around as young men will do

But when he emerged on the other side
Comin' out of each tight squeeze
He fell back on what he'd learned
Finding himself driven to his knees

Nothing brings greater contentment
To a dad entering his waning years
Than seeing his son on solid ground
It can scatter off some mighty big fears

The toughest part of that raisin' trail
Was my learnin' to just be still
To simply trust and let God lead
To calmly bank on His word and His will

Well, Joel is engaged to be married now
He's hitchin' to a fine young lady come May
We love our soon-to-be new daughter
Come now Lord, bless this union I pray

'Course I'm hopin' for a grandson to come along
A wise dad will be raisin' if this lad becomes real
Together with his papa proud-watchin him grow
To a true man; like his dad, the real deal

by Rik Goodell

© 2022. All rights reserved

I am grateful to David Graham once again, for his allowing me to post his beautiful western art alongside mine. If you do a search here on my website for "The Fencin' Crew" and "The Cowboy Way" or "Handles and Horse Thieves", among others, you'll see other paintings of his that have inspired my poetry.


To see a lot more of his work, go to his website:


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