THE CUTTIN’ CHUTE, by Linda Kirkpatrick


by Linda Kirkpatrick

As the cowboy works the cuttin’ gate
There’s a few things he’s gotta know.
The first and foremost of these things
Is what must stay and what must go.

Now take that ole cow over there
The black with mottled face,
Why she ain’t calved in more than a year;
She’s got no business on this place.

So I’ll just cut her to the left
When she hits the cuttin’ gate,
So far of all the cows to go,
She’ll be number eight.

But when it comes to friends I know
And life is kinda in a tight
There is one thing fer darn sure,
I’ll cut you to the right.

© 2002, Linda Kirkpatrick
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Ranch-raised in Texas Hill Country, Linda Kirkpatrick is known for her poetry, recitations, writings about regional history, chuckwagon cooking, community support, and loyal friendship to many.

She wrote this poem for her friends Ginger and W. B. Patterson, who, like Linda, are from long-time Texas ranching families.

Linda Kirkpatrick is a part of the lineup for the first annual Winnsboro Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering at the Winsboro Center for the Arts, October 19, 2019. She’ll be joined by Lavern “Straw” Berry, Joe Dan Boyd, Teresa Burleson, Don Cadden, Bob Campbell, Allan Chapman, “Doc” Davis, Pipp Gilette, Chris Isaacs, Gary Robertson, Hailey Sandoz
with Kristin Harris, Jay Snider, Doug Tolleson, and Conrad Wolfman.

Linda has been a part of the two most recent MASTERS CDs from, one with a recitation of an S. Omar Barker poem and the another with a recitation of a Bruce Kiskaddon poem.

Linda has poetry CDs and chapbooks, and two books set in her Texas Hill Country. Tales of the Frio Canyon has traveled around the West and around the world, including Rome, Jerusalem, and beyond. Readers send her photos. This photo above is from top cowboy cook Kent Rollins. Find more about Kent and Shannon Rollins and their Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon at and see great things on their YouTube channel.

Her brand new book is Cord Springs, The Story of a Place in Texas, a deeply researched account of the long history of a piece of a land, from prehistory through settlement, wars, conflict, and ranchland. It’s a place where she spent her childhood, and it will resonate with anyone who has a love or history and who has felt attachment to a place.

Find more about Linda Kirkpatrick, including her books and recordings,
at and follow her on Facebook for all of the latest news.

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