The Prairie

This “The Back Page” appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Texoma Living!.

There’s something ’bout the prairie as it stretches to the sky
With the tall grass swaying easy in the wind
With the clouds a-headed somewhere out beyond the great divide
On their way to distant places you’ve not been.
You’re sitting easy in the saddle as your pony stretches out
And gallops with a joy that has no end
As you roll across the prairie with a solitary pride
And chase the long horizon to the rim.

There’s something ’bout the prairie with the winter blowin’ in,
Like a great wave surgin’ fast across the sea.
As the sky takes on a color that’s a fridged icy blue
And the cold has got a presence you can see.
You try to ride before it, but it always runs you down
And cuts with numbin’ pain that’s hard to stand,
But when you’re wrapped up in your bedroll by a cracklin’  mesquite fire.
You know that you will never leave this land.

There’s something ’bout the prairie when it’s springtimes on the range,
When the flowers make a blanket on the ground.
And you crawl out of your bedroll to the bacon in the pan
While the morning sprinkles sunlight all around.
Then you saddle up your pony and head out to the beeves
And bring the critters mewling to the line.
Where you mark and bob and brand ’em ’til the sun dies in the west
And the cocinero calls for suppertime.

There’s something ’bout the prairie when the summer sun is high
And the dust clouds swirl and dance across the plain
When the heat it wraps around you like a heavy flannel shirt
And you wonder if it’s ever gonna rain.
Then the western sky turns crimson and then to inky black
And you think about the early mornin’ call
So you stretch out in your bed roll while the nighthawk sings his song
And sleep the sleep of one who has it all.

There’s something ’bout the prairie when it’s autumns on the air
When the grass goes brown and dew has turned to rime.
And you wake up in the morning to a sound that fills the sky
Of the honkers headed south for winter time,
When the ice upon the sagebrush and frost upon the grass
Make the prairie shine of silver in the sun
And you know that you’ve been privileged to beauty few will see.
And you thank the Lord that you’re the lucky one.