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Border's End

I did not drive the roan that day, Just saddled up my old dark bay, To check out fences far afield And breathe in life with all its yield. Near border’s end I came upon A fresh, dead cow down by the pond. I wondered why it had died here With water and spring grass so near. I spurred my horse and reined away But something said that I should stay— I creaked down from my saddle’s reach And saw the cow had died in breech. I knew they should be buried soon, By light of day or dark of moon. I left them there, that calf and cow And rode back home in thought somehow. I had forgot that scene of death Till summer quickly took my breath And once again I passed that shell Of twisted skin and faded smell. The worms had done their work it seems On frenzied flesh and faltered dreams. Yet, still I stared like at a grave— Thought how we took but seldom gave. Then autumn came and tinted trees With colors each low creature sees. So on my horse I sought them out, To answer what this life’s about. A mute Madonna—sticks of bone, Still nestled there so all alone. We live and die, the season’s dawn, We’re all breech born before we’re gone. In winter’s wind the world turns cold As cow and calf and man grow old. Yet, now there’s no sinew or hide To hint of life or what’s inside. Death’s passion passed and so did I To pay respects and say goodbye. For man and beast all die as kin— I will not ride this trail again.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2005




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Date: 9/13/2008 10:14:00 AM
ouch...Sorry Glen, I sent two comments...the last one was after I'd read the first one over, and wished to change a word. Oh well...it was an error, but still both are from the heart..
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Date: 9/13/2008 10:11:00 AM
It's never so easy to comment on a poem that evokes strong and stringent emotion, Glen, but to let this one pass by, would be like ignoring that cow's existence. Beautifully done; gives one the sense that when death occurs, even if one is part of many, they are still respected and remembered. I feel sad for that cow and calf, but they have had someone who has shown them reverent compassion and love. Congratulations! God bless you and yours...Mikki
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Date: 9/13/2008 10:09:00 AM
It's never so easy to comment on a poem that evokes strong and stringent emotion, Glen, but to let this one pass by, would be like ignoring that cow's existence. Beautifully done; gives one the sense that when death occurs, even if one is part of many, they are still respected and remembered. I feel sad for that cow and calf, but they have had someone who has shown them reverent loyalty and love. Congratulations!God bless you and yours...Mikki
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Date: 9/11/2008 5:07:00 AM
"We're all breech born before we're gone." This is great! All the pain of nature in this poem. Congrats on this choice. Love, Daver
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Date: 9/10/2008 6:19:00 AM
Congratulations on your well deserved feature this week Glen. It is always a pleasure to read your poetry.Love, Carol
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Date: 9/9/2008 7:34:00 PM
P.S. I absolutely loved this line: "On frenzied flesh and faltered dreams". How revealing! Forgot to mention that in my last post.
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Date: 9/9/2008 7:32:00 PM
I absolutely love this poem...how bittersweet it is. Wonderful story about life--I might like to use this poem w/my students, with your permission, of course.
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Date: 9/9/2008 8:57:00 AM
Congratulations Glen, on "Border's End" being a featured poem. There is still a mystique to the old west. God Bless. Vince
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Date: 9/8/2008 2:41:00 PM
Wow. Awesome write. Congratulations Glen on this well deserved featured write of the week. Love, Shar
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Date: 9/7/2008 10:31:00 PM
Glen this is an amazing poem that tells a wonderful tale - Congrats on being featured
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Date: 9/7/2008 5:42:00 PM
Nice use of rhyme to forward your thoughts in this poem. Congratulations on having it featured. Keep on writing. Wishing you continued success. Karen
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