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A Cowboy's Prayer

(_Written for Mother_)

  Oh Lord. I've never lived where churches grow.
    I love creation better as it stood
  That day You finished it so long ago
    And looked upon Your work and called it good.
  I know that others find You in the light
    That's sifted down through tinted window panes,
  And yet I seem to feel You near tonight
    In this dim, quiet starlight on the plains.

  I thank You, Lord, that I am placed so well,
    That You have made my freedom so complete;
  That I'm no slave of whistle, clock or bell,
    Nor weak-eyed prisoner of wall and street.
  Just let me live my life as I've begun
    And give me work that's open to the sky;
  Make me a pardner of the wind and sun,
    And I won't ask a life that's soft or high.

  Let me be easy on the man that's down;
    Let me be square and generous with all.
  I'm careless sometimes, Lord, when I'm in town,
    But never let 'em say I'm mean or small!
  Make me as big and open as the plains,
    As honest as the hawse between my knees,
  Clean as the wind that blows behind the rains,
    Free as the hawk that circles down the breeze!

  Forgive me, Lord, if sometimes I forget.
    You know about the reasons that are hid.
  You understand the things that gall and fret;
    You know me better than my mother did.
  Just keep an eye on all that's done and said
    And right me, sometimes, when I turn aside,
  And guide me on the long, dim trail ahead
    That stretches upward toward the Great Divide.

Poem by Badger Clark
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