Mackenzie Trail

Written by: Jim Fish

When doves on evenings, calm and still, call out a hollow tone, They rouse a medley, old as time, so few have ever known. The whispered lines of its refrains resound of yesterday, In ancient tales and bygone trails that man cannot portray. I’ve rode and worked along a trail throughout my many years. I’ve heard the tales the sages tell of raging Longhorn steers, Of soldiers marching single file or mounted days on end, Of Indians, conquistadors and Rangers tracking men. Mackenzie Trail is not well known for time obscures its fame, But high regard is placed on it by those who know its name. Its story’s scribed in black and white, its remnants etched in stone, Its way was marked by sweat and blood, by grave and bleaching bone. The broad frontier that it traversed had yet to be surveyed And danger seemed to lie in wait at every turn and grade. From Fort Clark Springs to forts on north, it led Mackenzie’s men To risk their lives out on the trail, then brought them home again. A mound lies near Mackenzie Lake, where horse thieves met despair, For Rangers tracked their hurried trail and hung them then and there. And near a barn not far away, in Live Oaks’ blissful shade, The remnants of a camp still lie where soldiers often laid. I’ve rode the trail and damned the rock that cost my horse a shoe. I’ve crossed its draws that filled with rain and made my lips turn blue. Its rugged paths have tested me and all who’ve come this way, Yet, it remains my trail through time, my bond with yesterday. Mackenzie Trail will long survive, a monument to will, That I recall when I ride near on evenings, calm and still; When doves exclaim in harmony, their lonely, hollow tone And rouse the medley, old as time, so few have ever known.