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Nothin' Left to Chance

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This young greenhorn was simply wasting his time trying to outsmart Shorty! Nothin’ Left to Chance Sittin’ in this tavern, lookin’ back upon my youth, My mind is plagued with loneliness… and doubt. Feelin’ pretty foolish for the way I missed the truth… And why it took so long to figure out. From Abilene to Wichita…San Angelo to Vale… We drove the herds across the arid plains. The days were long and lonely out there, ridin’ down the trail. We rode and slept in heavy snows and rains. But every tiny cow town had a place to wet your lips, And most - a gal or two to warm your soul. The pretty ones would always know who left the largest tips, And which of us would hold the biggest role. I just figured Shorty had a slightly greater thirst, And therefore headed out before the rest, But soon I came to understand why he was always first… You see…the first to town would get the best! I was twelve years younger, but it didn’t take me long To realize that Shorty’s little trick Always left me sorry fer the way I done it wrong. Yup…good ol’ Shorty always got his pick. Only reason I’ve sat down to write this little rhyme… Tellin’ ‘bout the night I played it smart… Is just to let you know about the one and only time I skipped the “chuck” to make an early start. I was watching Shorty drag a razor ‘cross his jaw And comb his curly hair when I snuck out. I remember feelin’ like I’d pret’ near broke the law When I slipped out alone…an’ rode the route. There were always close to half-a-dozen pretty girls With whom a lonely man could share a bed, But only one had ivory skin, fluffy auburn curls, And eyes of hazel green……they called her - “Red.” I’d been savin’ jingle for this very kind o’ night… When I would beat old Shorty to the bar. Showin’ up that early, well…I thought I’d done it right, And everything was goin’ good…so far. Strollin’ up to Red I said, “Tonight, I’m extra lonely, And I am fixed to pay most any price. I’m aware that Shorty likes to be your one-and-only, But don’t you think variety is nice?” “Well, sure,” she said, “and you’re a very handsome lad indeed, And I’ll be glad to drink with you…and dance, But someone else will have to help you fill your special need, ‘Cause Shorty always pays me……in advance!” PS: I've now got 4 new Audio-CDs - @ 4 1/2 hours each = (62 diversely varied pieces). They’re listed on EBAY - under - “Mark Stellinga Poetry” - or available by simply contacting me at -- mark@writerofbooks.com -- should those of you who enjoy listening to poems as well as reading them - and particularly those of you that travel - care to be so entertained. (We use safe and simple - PayPal) Cheers, Mark

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021




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