He stared into the eyes of stuffed black bears,
fell asleep to the sounds of cattle in the yard
and wrote about it all in his Tennessee Moon.
He gathered barn kittens, chased Corrientes
into livestock trailers, worked a remote to the
head gate for the cowboys, got bucked off that
wild and crazy Pistol, came up covered in gravel,
black and blue, embarrassed, then shed some tears.
Burned his fingers making ‘smores on a bonfire,
strummed his guitar on the porch as we sat in
rocking chairs behind him with big proud grins.
We all watched hours of classic Western films.
Said good morning and good night to Buckskin,
rode the pastures on a four wheeler, drove a Gator
through the rows of a tomato field and parked on
a hillside to gaze at the smoke on the mountains.
When the horses gathered around, it felt like
he had that special power to talk to the animals,
but realized the feed bucket was on the tailgate.
He listened to his grandfather’s stories, hugged him
one last time and heard the promise about putting
the shiny new bass boat into the water- next year.
When he reads this he’ll laugh a little or smile a bit.
In the end he’ll be sad, knowing that it’s over now.