Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Heritage: One Generation Removed

Although I write more poetic prose than actual cowboy poetry, it irks me to be told I have no right to write cowboy poetry because I am not an actual working cowboy. What ticks me off the most about that is that I would have been born into that life if it had not been for the government swindling policies to force a lot of ranchers and farmers off their lands: lands that had often been in their families for generations. And I also ask those  who claim I'll never belong to their community, where were their fighting spirits when all the ranchers and farmers were losing their land? --- I am just one generation away from my country heritage, and it weighs heavy on me because I have a country heart... and because of that I'll write when I want, where I want, what I want, and for as long as I want. --- I shed blood for this country, and anyone claiming they want me to give up my liberties will be in for a fight.

I've been told I've got no right
ta' be writin' cowboy poetry,
cuz' I ain't an actual cowpoke on the range.
An' if I persist there'll be a fight,
an' perhaps a rope thrown o're a tree,
cuz' they rate dudes even lower than the mange.
But they forget the range is dwindlin'.
It's less than half of what it were.
Big spreads have gone the way of the Dodo bird.
Yet where were they durin' Uncle Sam's swindlin'?
An' why am I the brunt of a common slur
jus' because our family lost its ranch an' herd?
It's true I am a city born,
but I got me a country heart,
an' it bleeds red, white, an' blue jus' like yours.
You were raised a holdin' a saddle horn,
I was forced ta' have street smarts,
but they served me well in uniform on those distant shores.
My Ma was raised upon a ranch,
my Grandpa Grover's down in Texas.
I heard all the stories but never got ta' see.
I was on the broken branch,
after the government's double-taxes,
that cut-off the country side of my family tree.
Ya' point yer' fingers at me
an' claim I'll never be one of ya'll.
Ya' say I'm a pretender who jus' bought a hat.
The country fried community,
I wanted it, barn raising's an' all.
But when Gramp's spread was on the choppin' block,
where were you at?
Gramp's worked hard all his life;
he was strong, quiet, an' proud.
The Good Lord even took him home as he sat in church.
He never deserved the strife
from the rustlin' government crowd,
as they sowed unsavory policies, leavin' common folk in the lurch.
It's true I love my country,
but I hate my Uncle Sam,
he stole from me the life I shoulda' had.
Country's most my genealogy,
it's my heritage: who I am.
An' ta' have it stole, one generation removed, makes me damn mad!
So if ya'll still say I ain't country,
an' ain't fit ta' write country poetry,
give it yer' best cuz' I'll stand with ya' toe ta' toe.
I can't choose the place of my birth,
but I can choose how I'll live,
an' I'll live country til the day I go.

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