The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

Often when I talk to the competitors on the rodeo circuit, I am amazed at
how little they boast about their own accomplishments. Instead, much of
their conversation pays tribute to the wives and mothers who are home
tending to their business and personal affairs. This next poem is dedicated to all ranch wives and mothers.

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

As heard on the Good Stuff with Jim Thompson

The hand that rocks the cradle is lacing up her chaps.
That old bronc he left is balking like a mule.
But she's got to push them cattle to fresh water and green grass.
Race back and buck three kiddies up for school.

The hand that rocks the cradle didn't sleep that well last night.
To bed at one, then her coffee down by five.
But the mare she's looking stronger and that black colts a little prince.
Took all her skills to keep them both alive.

The old Brahma bull broke out again; she'd love to shoot that fool.
Now there's another fence she'll have to tend
And all that fudge and cookies that she promised for the school.
Sometimes it seems her day won't ever end.

How she'd love some time just for herself
A soak, a book, or most of all a nap.
But the phone keeps on ringing when she comes into the house
Now there's six loads of bails she's got to cap.

He called late last night from Reno said he stuck the first go round.
One more good ride and he'll replace their truck.
And he asked how she was coping, for he was thinking 'bout Cheyenne.
She choked back her tears and then, she wished him "luck."

For she knows he loves the rodeo near as much as he loves her.

And without those funds, there'd be that banker on their lawn.
But some nights she wakes up shaking from the wreck he had last year.
Hugs his lonely pillow, then she lays awake till dawn.

She remembers when she met him; he was limping, caked with dust
But she melted when he smiled into her eyes.
He listened to her dreams and soon he gained her trust.
She loves living on those memories more than she hates his good-bys.

He never took her dancing to the movies or a show.
There were times she thought he'd plumb forgotten how to speak.
For his thoughts seemed on tomorrows ride or yesterday's poor-go
But those hands as hard as iron, just one touch could leave her weak.

Then one night he took riding while the moon was shining high.
He was talking bout how much he loved this land.
She was giddy from the moonlight and all those stars up in the sky
Then he kissed her quick and asked her for her hand.

She could of married money, both the doc and lawyer tried.
She knows she could have lived a life of ease.
But she chose the barns and pastures so her babes would grow up free.
Gave up all thoughts of fashion, Cadillacs and social teas.

She may not make it through the day without a little cry.
But both dogs are there to kiss her when she's blue.
And they help to make her stronger for she jumps back to her feet.
"He'll be home soon boys, 'sides we've got lots of work to do.

"The hand that rocks the cradle will be mucking out the stalls.
She'll be dreaming bout her Cowboy on the road.
But she knows that he loves her and she knows that he knows
That the hand that rocks the cradle, is packing her share of the load.

© 2003, Jesse Colt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.