TO THE OLD TIMES
by Chris Isaacs
Me and my pards, Bud and Beaver
Were havin’ a cold one down at the Pines.
We’d been to the show and watched the short go
We were just catchin’ up on old times
When this kid walked in with a swagger
That told the whole bar he was there.
Hat cocked to one side, he was plum full of pride;
Just let all of the gunsels beware.
His thumbs slid back behind his new buckle
As he hollered, “The drinks are on me.
I rode a bad one tonight, removed all of his fight
And I’m startin’ right now on a spree.”
We just looked at each other and grinned
As we remembered those days gone by
When we were the ones who were having the fun;
“Let er’ buck” was our standard war cry.
But I think that the grins were a cover.
A mask that could hide something more;
So no one could see that these old devotees
Were wishin’ time hadn’t shuttered the door.
‘Cuz it’s a door that cannot be left gaping.
Once it’s closed it won’t open again.
It’s forever shut tight tho’ you try with your might
The trying could just drive you insane.
But there’s one saving grace; a solution!
It’s a way to help ease the despair.
It’s those old “memories” that help us to see
The good times that are no longer there.
And I looked at Bud and ol’ Beaver
And they were both smiling thru tears
Thinkin’ back when we did the same as that kid,
As we remembered back thru the years.
So pards, let’s raise a glass to old memories,
To the good times and all the old friends.
And though those days are gone, the memories live on;
In our dreams those days never end.
© 2016, Chris Isaacs
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without the author’s permission.
Cowboy, packer, and popular poet and humorist Chris Isaacs also shared this photo above of himself with “Ol’ Cowboy,” which he says was “taken somewhere between Yarnell and Skull Valley, Arizona in March 1977.
See Chris next at the 29th annual National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration in Lubbock, Texas, September 8-10, 2017. He joins headliners Mary Kaye, Pipp Gillette, and Craig Carter along with “…cowboy poets, musicians, storytellers, artists, historians, authors, editors, publishers, exhibitors, horse trainers, re-enactors, photographers, chuck wagon cooks, honest-to-goodness cowboys and many more…” Find more about the event at cowboy.org.
Chris Isaacs has a recent book, Scattered Memories: Cowboy Wit and Wisdom. In her foreword to the book, Shannon Keller Rollins (of the Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon along with Kent Rollins) calls it, “Your feel-good pocket guide to life.” Find more about Chris Isaacs in a feature at CowboyPoetry.com and at his site, chrisisaacs.com.