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Why do you Keep Him?

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for Sheepdogging Geezer- Because he encouraged me! And I may not be able to paste but I can type one fingered.


( This poem is based on a man my father bought a colt off of in Northern California. This old man also raised cattle and had the dogs. These stories I like best. Poems made up of lives )



Why do you keep him?

That old dog

Burrs in his tail

Hitch in his trot


He is not a powerful dog


Why do you keep him?




I keep him because

When I speak

He looks into my eyes

And listens


I look back


He is always there




When I get into my truck

he jumps in beside me


When I saddle a horse he waits



When the stock is rough,

and days are long





He tries


I’ve seen my grandchild’s hand slide down his back,

and my wife give him gravy at Christmas


I shattered my hip when a colt, newly started, dumped my old bones into a fence

I was laid up for months


he lay near me

And sometimes

I counted the hours by his slow wagging tail.


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