Have you ever sat on a fence rail-
the sun fading into a blood red line in the West?
the wind beginning to pick up as it stirs the desert sand.
The smell of food causing your mouth to water like Pavlov's dogs
As you wait for the dinner bell?
The fragrance of boiled coffee wafted on the wind-
The smell of cows...not a stink exactly...
More an aroma: to the owner, the very smell of success.
To the cowboy? a security blanket. The feel of belonging, job security, as "right" and comfortable a well worn pair of boots, or faded Levi's
The bawl of cattle a lullaby, soon the coyotes will begin their melancholy song.
Then follows the good natured banter of tired, lonely men over supper,
A long soak in a tub of steaming water to ease aches and pains
brought on by a lifetime in the saddle...
A last cup of coffee...then retire to the bunkhouse.
Ken writes a letter to his Mother in a retirement home, Jose reads a letter from his "novia" in Mexico, old Shelby reads his Bible, his lips laboring at pronouncing words foreign to his tongue...
And I? Well, I thumb through my talley book to the lines I wrote today and transcribe them into my spiral notebook.
Then at nine o'clock the lights go out, and the bunkhouse is silent except for the sound of breathing...
Tomorrow is another day.
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