by Yvonne Hollenbeck

There’s been a lot of poems and songs
about those cattle drives,
but I’ve never heard a poem or song
about those cowmen’s wives.

Did you ever stop and wonder
about how those guys get fed?
Who boils that brew and cooks the stew
and bakes up all that bread?

Well, I know who and so do you,
so I wrote this little thing
bout why I’d like to be in Texas
when we round up cows next spring.


In a kitchen in an old ranch house on a cold and autumn day,
sat a bunch of fellers telling yarns about the cowboy way.

They tell of places they have been and country they have seen.
One prefers the Badlands where the grass is never green,

while others tell their windy tales of Sandhills, lush and wet,
as they eat their eggs and pancakes ‘cause it soon is time to get

outside and saddle up their mounts and ready for the ride,
for the roundup is about to start. I too must get outside

and load up all the food and drink and pack it in my truck,
then find a place along the trail where they can stop for chuck.

I’m soon unloading food supplies…it’s not an easy deal
to feed those men while on the trail and plan for every meal.

And when the noon meal’s over, the work is never through;
you have to clean and pack and move the meal site all anew.

They’ll stop the drive at sundown and again they have to eat,
and then I start all over and I’m really getting beat!

They set up camp and bed ‘em tight, some men stay with the cattle;
I head on home to pack more food, for eating’s half the battle.

And while the men are fast asleep, I prepare tomorrow’s menu;
just two more days of rounding up and then this job will be through.

So when you hear those poems and songs about those cattle drives,
just think about the “unsung” ones…bout the cowman’s wives.

With that I guess I’ll bid “good-bye” and say just one more thing:
I’d sure like to be in Texas when we round up cows next spring!

© 2008, revised, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Popular cowboy poet and champion quilter  Yvonne Hollenbeck helps finish our week of poems about spring with an answer to the traditional “I’d Like to Be in Texas,” which was posted Wednesday.

Yvonne Hollenbeck delights audiences across the West. You can see her later this year at the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering and the Heber Valley Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Her latest book and CD are Rhyming the Range. Both collect her original poems. The book includes the most requested poems from her two out-of-print books and all of her newest poetry.

Yvonne is a part of the must-see film, Everything in the Song is True, Doug Morrione’s award-winning feature-length documentary “of four iconic western characters”: Gary McMahan, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Brice Chapman, and Greg Nourse. Find more about the film at everythinginthesongistrue.com. It’s now available to stream at Amazon.

Find more about Yvonne Hollenbeck and her complete schedule, which includes quilting events, at yvonnehollenbeck.com.

Find more of Yvonne Hollenbeck’s poetry at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photo of twin bull calves was taken in 2016 at the Hollenbeck’s South Dakota ranch, where Yvonne and her champion calf-roper husband Glen raise cattle and quarter horses. Read a recent article about Glen, “Glen Hollenbeck: Still riding for the G2 Brand.”

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but for other uses, please ask permission.)