MY CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR MY READERS
A POEM I WROTE AND PUBLISHED IN
MY BOOK 'COWBOYS, PLOWBOYS, AND
This opens with the song Silent Night and is the background through the reading. Then finished up with the 2nd & 3rd verses.
It was a silent night....
clear and cold like long ago.
The moon and stars shining bright
as old Charlie worked on his goal.
Slippin' the old high back to the ground
Tying a ribbon to the horn...
With a tag to Jimmy Brown.
Setting it gently by the door.
As he walked limpin' down the road,
Leadin' that old bay,
Wishin' it weren't so durn cold
As he tied him to the gate...at Tommy Ray's
As he trudged back to his line shack
He took inventory of his Christmas rounds.
Left his spurs for young Zack,
His Mexican riata...at Jennie Towns.
A rag doll from an old shirt stuffed with grass
He left for June at the Crossroads Ranch.
She's such a fiery young lass...
She'll break more than one cowboys heart with a glance.
Charlie gave away all of his belongins'
And other things that he had made
That every child in the valley
Had a present for Christmas Day.
He made many winters riding line camps and such
living life as a drifting saddle tramp.
Since a family wasn't in the cards
Now he was making his final lonely camp.
Banking up the old stove...to warm his old frame,
the chill finally driven from his bones.
He dozed in an old work rocker,
snoring in peaceful low tones.
He opened his eyes to a young rider
standing inside the door.
"Charlie...its time to go, he said"
Charlie nodded and said, "I'm ready for dern sure".
A group of people gathered outside that old shack
grateful for the simple gifts he brought.
They found him cold...by his empty pack,
Gone home...to the final camp he sought.
For years they talked of that terrible drought
when all the grass withered like blight.
How hard times had stolen their holiday cheer,
and how one cowboy...named Charlie...
Saved Christmas...on that cold Silent Night.