As heard on the Good Stuff with Jim Thompson

                                                                                                                                                                                   

A kerosene oil lantern hangs

From a rusty twisted nail

But the yellow glow it cast

Doesn’t do much to unveil

 

The darkness of the room

Where an old cowboy just sits

Alone in utter silence

Just a clinging to his wits

 

He hears a cow a-bawlin’

And peers through the window pane

Must be one of mamma’s Herefords

Crying for a little grain

 

The snow sure is coming down

And it’s getting awful cold

He felt this storm a coming though

Guess that’s part of gettin’ old

 

He throws a log on the fire

And watches it slowly burn

He thinks about last year

And his heart begins to yearn

 

She really did love Christmas

And always went overboard

She baked and decorated

Enough to win an award

 

Her family was her prize

And it filled her heart with glee

To see them all gather ‘round

Underneath the Christmas tree

 

Who knew it would be her last

Lord he sure did miss her now

This March would mark fifty years

Since the day they said their vow

 

He hears that cow bawl again

And reaches for his jacket

Better go outside and check

The reason for the racket

 

The kids are coming tomorrow

If the roads are not that bad

They offered to bring dinner

Which had made him kind of glad

 

 

 

 

He hadn’t even put up a tree

Somehow it didn’t feel right

But even if he wanted to

Where would he find one tonight

 

He thinks about them grandkids

Naw it just won’t be the same

He wonders will they understand

Or just look around with shame

 

What do they expect from him?

He’s doing the best he can

It’s too late to start all over

For he’s far from a young man

 

Where are them two Herefords?

They are usually by the shed

Did they miss mamma too

Yeah they used to be hand fed

 

He comes across their tracks

Almost filled in now by snow

And he follows them up the hill

Just wondering where they go

 

Then all of a sudden he sees ‘em

And he can’t believe his eyes

For they’d gathered ‘round a pine tree

Of perfect shape and perfect size

 

They look at him and blink

Then beller as if to say

It’s not too late cowboy

For tomorrow is Christmas day

 

In that moment, in that instance

Things suddenly become clear

He understands what he must do

As he wipes away a tear

 

He knows there’s not much time

And it may take him all night

But he don’t mind for he knows

That his purpose now is right

 

She always made it special

And by God! He’d do the same

Yeah Christmas would live on

In memory of her name

Copyright © 2010 Cade Schalla

 

By

Cade Schalla