MISSION IMPOSSIBLE by Carole Jarvis

jarvis1

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE
by Carole Jarvis

If there’s any of you women out there,
…..who are newly a cowboy’s wife.
And are still experiencing the honeymoon phase,
…..be prepared, there’s an afterlife!

The time will soon come you’ll be asked to help out,
…..So you probably ought to know,
That when he hands you a ripe, with a cow on the end,
…..You’re expected to never let go!

No matter he’s roped the old girl from the ground,
…..then dallied a big cedar post,
While explainin’ to you how bad sick she is,
…..almost ready to “give up the ghost.”

She’s standin’ there, tongue out, legs all a’spraddle,
…..her eyes bulging out of her head,
As the cowboy moves in to give her a shot,
…..for after all, the cow’s about dead.

Not quite! Just as the needle is jabbed in her rump,
…..that hind leg lets go with a whack.
And the cowboy’s shin receives direct hit,
…..as I’m tryin’ to take up my slack.

For the cow has leaped forward, shakin’ her head,
…..throwin’ slobber in every direction.
And with only that cedar post between us,
…..I’ve decided to use some discretion.

I dodge to the side, lettin’ go of the rope,
…..which had just burned the palms of both hands.
And that wild-eyed old cow’s horns barely miss
…..where I was, ’cause that’s where she lands.

“Keep a’hold of the rope!” comes a yell from behind
…..but by then this alliance is through!
One “near death” experience a day is enough
…..and I did all I could possibly do.

Or, at least it seemed, from my point of view,
…..(which was sure not the view I’d have chose)
But I handled the incident logically—
…..and that’s where the problem arose.

Logic wasn’t a choice—I aborted the mission!
…..left my post, in the midst of a battle!
So ladies beware, the honeymoon’s over,
…..when you and the cowboy work cattle.

© 2019, Carole Jarvis
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Award-winning poet Carole Jarvis met her cowboy while working in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and they were married for over 50 years before his death in 2010. She tells in her bio at CowboyPoetry.com:

We’ve lived and cowboyed in Wyoming, Oregon and Arizona, and there’s been a lot of hard work, dusty trails, blisters, sunburns and broken bones along the way, but it’s the life I chose and the one Dan, my husband chose, and we wouldn’t trade it for any other.

“Mission Impossible” is included in Facing West: Voices of Western Women, Volume Two (2019). The book includes poems and stories from over 50 Western women, including Deanna Dickinson McCall, Amy Hale Steiger, Jessica Hedges, Andrea Waitley and daughter Abi McWhorter Reynolds, Betty McCarthy, Dee Strickland Johnson (“Buckshot Dot”), and many others. Facing West was compiled by Sally Bates, who is pictured on the cover in a photo by Mary Abbott.

img527

With proceeds from the first volume, Natalie G’Schwind was presented with the 2019 Facing West, Roni Harper Memorial Scholarship. Find more about both volumes of Facing West and other publications from Arizona Cowboy Connection at arizonacowboyconnection.com.

Find more about Carole Jarvis at cowboypoetry.com.

The photograph is courtesy of Carole Jarvis from the Jarvis Ranch.

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

PAYIN’ ATTENTION, by Carole Jarvis

jarvis

PAYIN’ ATTENTION
by Carole Jarvis

“I told ya’ once, it’s the second gate,
and leave the thing open!
Close the one with fingertrap;
that’s where they’ll water—I’m hopin’.

“Now pay attention; watch fer cows;
make sure the fences are up.
Keep yer mind on what we’re doin’ out here,
and quit lookin’ fer buttercup!”

Then off he rides in a cowboy trot,
his eyes on the trail up ahead.
And me, I’m tryin’ to concentrate,
on all of the things he just said.

But above me there’s a red-tail hawk,
and I watch him circle and soar.
Then into the wind he dips and turns,
with the grace of a matador!

And what made those tracks in the wash;
they’re not rabbit or coyote I know,
But some kind of critter wandered this way,
and it hasn’t been that long ago.

Guess I really shouldn’t tarry though,
so come on old horse, let’s get goin’.
I’m sure by now Dan’s halfway there,
and I’d better be a-showin’.

Okay, this trail is headed right,
and I can see all the fence from here.
Gee, what a lovely day for a ride,
oh wow, there’s a herd of mule deer!

With three or four does and a buck
a couple of spikes! Boy they’re quick!
Over that ridge and out of sight
Like kids on a pogo stick!

That buck was a five-point, at least!
I wonder where he hid last fall?
Wherever it was, I hope he goes back—
uh oh, I think I head a cow bawl!

Oh nuts, that came from way up ahead—
I pray they’re not through the gate!
Come on little horse, let’s hit a lope,
I’m in big trouble if I’m too late!

And there they are, headin’ straight in
toward the gate I’m supposed to close!
At a dead run now, it’s nip and tuck—
And I beat ‘um—but just by a nose!

Wow! That was too close, old pony,
I’d never hear the end of that,
If they’d gotten through and scattered…
well, let’s go see where the rest are at.

Here comes Dan now with the big bunch,
ridin’ in from the other direction.
“Good,” he says, when he sees these cows,
“looks like ya’ paid attention!”

I always do, I say to him,
and a laugh is his reaction.
Just because on a rare occasion,
I might have had a distraction.

So I tell him the fence is all up,
and there’s plenty of feed in the draw.
But I keep to myself, all the other things,
that when I paid attention I saw!

© 2003, Carole Jarvis
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Popular poet Carole Jarvis has lived and cowboyed in Wyoming, Oregon and Arizona. She has written, “… there’s been a lot of hard work, dusty trails, blisters, sunburns and broken bones along the way, but it’s the life I chose and the one Dan, my husband chose, and we wouldn’t trade it for any other.”

Carole Jarvis’s recitation of this poem is on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 10, a double-cd collection of the best-of-the-best of the series.

Carole Jarvis is the recipient of the Gail I. Gardner Award for a Working Cowboy Poet, bestowed by the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering and of the 2003 Western Heritage Award, from the Annual Cowboy Christmas Poetry Gathering in Wickenburg, Arizona. Carole is also a recipient of the Della Johns Scholarship for Ranch Women (now Women Writers of Cowboy Poetry) from the Western Folklife Center.

This poem is included in her book, Time Not Measured By a Clock. Find more of her poetry, including a moving tribute to her late husband, and more about her at cowboypoetry.com.

This photograph of the Jarvis Ranch gate is courtesy of Carole Jarvis.

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

PAYIN’ ATTENTION by Carole Jarvis

jhdec2217

photo © 2017, Jessica Hedges

 

PAYIN’ ATTENTION
by Carole Jarvis

“I told ya’ once, it’s the second gate,
and leave the thing open!
Close the one with fingertrap;
That’s where they’ll water—I’m hopin’.

“Now pay attention; watch fer cows;
make sure the fences are up.
Keep yer mind on what we’re doin’ out here,
and quit lookin’ fer buttercup!”

Then off he rides in a cowboy trot,
his eyes on the trail up ahead.
And me, I’m tryin’ to concentrate,
on all of the things he just said.

But above me there’s a red-tail hawk,
and I watch him circle and soar.
Then into the wind he dips and turns,
with the grace of a matador!

And what made those tracks in the wash;
they’re not rabbit or coyote I know,
But some kind of critter wandered this way,
and it hasn’t been that long ago.

Guess I really shouldn’t tarry though,
so come on old horse, let’s get goin’.
I’m sure by now Dan’s halfway there,
and I’d better be a-showin’.

Okay, this trail is headed right,
and I can see all the fence from here.
Gee, what a lovely day for a ride,
oh wow, there’s a herd of mule deer!

With three or four does and a buck
a couple of spikes! Boy they’re quick!
Over that ridge and out of sight
Like kids on a pogo stick!

That buck was a five-point, at least!
I wonder where he hid last fall?
Wherever it was, I hope he goes back—
uh oh, I think I head a cow bawl!

Oh nuts, that came from way up ahead—
I pray they’re not through the gate!
Come on little horse, let’s hit a lope,
I’m in big trouble if I’m too late!

And there they are, headin’ straight in
toward the gate I’m supposed to close!
At a dead run now, it’s nip and tuck—
And I beat ‘um—but just by a nose!

Wow! That was too close, old pony,
I’d never hear the end of that,
If they’d gotten through and scattered…
well, let’s go see where the rest are at.

Here comes Dan now with the big bunch,
ridin’ in from the other direction.
“Good,” he says, when he sees these cows,
“looks like ya’ paid attention!”

I always do, I say to him,
and a laugh is his reaction.
Just because on a rare occasion,
I might have had a distraction.

So I tell him the fence is all up,
and there’s plenty of feed in the draw.
But I keep to myself, all the other things,
that when I paid attention I saw!

© 2003, Carole Jarvis
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

Popular poet Carole Jarvis has lived and cowboyed in Wyoming, Oregon and Arizona. She has written, “… there’s been a lot of hard work, dusty trails, blisters, sunburns and broken bones along the way, but it’s the life I chose and the one Dan, my husband chose, and we wouldn’t trade it for any other.”

Carole Jarvis lives is the recipient of the 2001 Gail I. Gardner Award for a Working Cowboy Poet, bestowed at the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering at Prescott, Arizona and of the 2003 Western Heritage Award, bestowed at the 15th Annual Cowboy Christmas Poetry Gathering in Wickenburg, Arizona.

This poem is included in her book, “Time Not Measured By a Clock” and she recites it on Volume 7 of The BAR-D Roundup from CowboyPoetry.com. Find more of her poetry, including a moving tribute to her late husband, and more about her at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photograph is by poet, cowboy, and entrepreneur Jessica Hedges. Her “Branded in Ink by Jessica Hedges” company “serves the ag community through the art of storytelling on social media and beyond.” Her photography (see more on Instagram at brandedinink and cowboyinlady) is available as prints, cards, and more. Find more at www.jessicahedgescowboypoetry.com.

Jessica is among the poets and musicians taking part in the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and
Music Gathering, February 2-4, 2018 in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Featured performers are 3 Trails West, Floyd Beard, Almeda Bradshaw, Patty Clayton, The Cowboy Way, Doris Daley, Peggy Godfrey, Hanson Family, Joe Herrington, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Carolyn and Dave Martin, Syd Masters Band, Doc Mehl, Notable Exceptions, Trinity Seely, Tom Swearingen, Barry Ward, and Joyce Woodson. Saturday Daytime Performers are Vic Anderson, Janet Bailey, Valerie Beard, Cimarron Sidekicks, Dean Cook, Joel Eliot, Thatch Elmer, Jessica Hedges, Ron Hinkle, Randy Houston, Steve Jones, Susie Knight, Mary Matli, Dave and Kathy McCann, James Michae, Mark Munzert, OK  Chorale Trio, Ramblin’ Rangers, Dennis Russell, Gail Star, Rocky Sullivan, Miss “V”,  and Washtub Jerry.