I’ll never own a pony, and I’ll never brand a calf.
I’ll never try to yodel, even for a laugh.
Perhaps I shouldn’t even try to write some cowboy verse.
Is it fake ‘cause I’m no cowboy? Or maybe something worse?
Like cultural appropriation, theft, or just plain rude?
Will a cowboy get offended by the rhymes of city dude?
Please take them as the compliment I mean these lines to be
A paean to the artists whose works surrounded me
For three full days in Elko. As I sat engulfed in craft
That conjured prairie, man, and horse, I cheered, I cried, I laughed.
And when the last guitar was stowed, and the cowboys all departed
I drove home too, still filled with awe, still humming, still full-hearted.
I’ll never live the cowboy life. I’ll never rope a cow.
I’ll never gentle mustangs, but I’ll tell you anyhow,
I took home something priceless from Elko’s great event.
Some cowboy brilliance I will treasure. So, so glad I went.
For more about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, click here.