A Days Work
A Days Work ~ for David Langford
4 a.m. they head for the barn, carry
cubes of beef tucked in biscuits,
bound tight in a bandana.
In the moonlight,
a loop flies across the corral,
lassoes a mount from the remuda.
The percussion of hoofbeats,
muscled shoulders slap against each other,
saddle up in the dark, saddle by feel.
Each step a muscle memory.
for safety in forty square miles
of brush country.
By sunup, they make it to the
grab a drink at the windmill,
a tin cup swings from baling wire.
Now, the chore.
Doctor, worm, brand or count.
Trot home, arrive
in the sandy dusk.
Drink, eat, shower.
El Jefe strolls to the bunkhouse.
Well, men, it’s cooled off.
Let’s go pull that windmill.
We’ll be done by midnight, for sure !
Suppose its romantic, however unrealistic.
Yeah, 4 am and the farthest of forty square
miles by sunup.
Try finding saddles and gear in the dark while half awake
even in moonlight.
Leave the windmill alone. Get to bed. Fire that moronic foreman.