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Cowboy’s Prayer

This comes from Autumn Leaves:

Now I lay me down to sleep

In open spaces

Lest I weep.

Saddle for a pillow,

Chaps for a spread,

Starlit canopy overhead.

And should I die

Before dawn’s break,

Thank you, Lord, for your fair shake.


Old Sentinel

This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:


Quietly, he watched

With clear, beady eye

Toward snow-freckled landscape,

Ghostly, grey sky.


Frigid wind knifed

Into feathery bone.

Old Canadian Goose

Now completely alone.


Southern fly-ways beckoned

With their annual ring.

Members of his flock

Disappeared on strong wing.


Too old and weak,

No strength left to fly.

Instinct forbade him

To even try.


He honked farewell tiredly

With his remaining might,

As last departing stragglers

Disappeared from sight.


Primary flight feathers,

Ragged, unpreened —

No protection from freezing wind,

Unchecked, unscreened.


Soon white snow

Would blanket the land,

Bringing silent death

To hapless animal and man.


From gosling to maturity,

Years long since gone,

He would die where he hatched

On this small lake he knew as home.




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