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Updated on March 7, 2012

By: Wayne Brown

I started punchin’ cows when I was young in my years

I was full of piss n’ vinegar but still wet behind the ears

The herd boss saw my green; my lack of knowledge of the steer

Put me to workin’ in the back, ridin’ drag in the rear

Now ridin’ drag is an important job; pushin’ up the stragglers

But come suppertime; the cowboys turn into hagglers

Making jokes about the dirty pokes for all around to hear

Laughing at the dirty scoundrels ridin’ drag in the rear

Every good cowboy has done his share ridin’ in the back

Keepin' pace with the herd and those slowpoke cows on track

It’s the worst job on the trail but surely one that they need

The only advantage is that it’s a good place to watch a stampede

Herdin’ up the Chisholm on our way to the railhead in Abilene

Us drag cowboys have ate more dust than most men have seen

Day in and day out, the same old thing, for weeks upon that trail

Dust, dust and more dust until we finally get these cows to rail

Now I ain’t sayin’ that I can’t handle eatin’ a little bit of herd dust

It’s good experience and it brings out the best in all of us

But sometimes that dust is so thick it cakes on what we expose

And the only way you can breathe is with a bandanna on your nose

Old dry summer and the draught ain’t doin’ nothin’ for the dust

Not one drop of rain from those blues skies that we often cuss

Just a bit of rainfall would surely eliminate frustration and disgust

And make life in the rear a lot easier by washing away this dust

As tough as it is to breathe back here, I’ll not sit and complain

Except maybe just to say that I wish we could get some rain

But those other drovers who laugh at us as they ride in the clear

Will never conclude that this poke can’t cut it in the rear

We’ve been weeks upon this trail; I feel I’ve swallowed a dirt road

If all the dust was piled in one place it would make a hellava load

A thousand head on the hoof pounding up the Chisholm Trail

Leave a lot of dust behind them before they make it to the rail

You can bet that we’ll get ‘em there on time; each and every one

Then we’ll stop off at a saloon in Abilene and have us some fun

I can just imagine how good that first beer is gonna seem

When I wash this dust out of my throat and blow off a little steam

Then we’ll head back down the trail to where we all got started

To gather up another herd and get them northern departed

But things will be different this time around; of that I am pretty sure

All my experience is paying off for the boss took me off the rear

One day I hope to be the boss and trail herds northbound

To get them to the railhead in that far north Abilene town

And when I do, I'll hire some drovers who are wet behind the ears

And teach how to herd cattle by ridin’ drag, eatin’ dust in the rear

© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @50 Caliber...Anything that could do that job would be great for the furniture in the house, huh? Thanks Dusty, glad you liked it. WB

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Wayne, just my kinda dusty tale, I sure get blamed for a lot, they even made some stuff called endust, makes fer a nervous feller, voted up, dust

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Truckstop Sally...there is nothing like work that is done in the big outdoors even when it is hot and dusty. There's a certain sense of accomplishment in just being a part of it. WB

      @breakfastpop...Thanks's about time that I crafted another western tale for ya! WB

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      I love your western poems and tales. As always up and awesome.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Tremendous -- as always! Who else could make eating dirt sound good!! I rode horses from 8-18 but a bit different circumstances. The ol' man vs nature scenario still in the background. Regardless -- you fall in love with the outdoors, animals, weather, scenery. . . My daughter introduced me to a new song today. There is a line about Abilene (Fort Worth and Houston too). Josh Abbott - You Haven't Met My Texas Yet (or something like that)

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @drbj...SilverGenes came up with that when she first saw the title...I'll admit the thought did cross my mind and it might have been a really good hub too! Thanks Doc! WB

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      You're one heckuva writer, Wayne, I'm so thirsty I gotta get me a cold drink.

      BTW, it's funny you mentioned cross-dressing in your reply to a commenter above. I read the title in a hurrty and couldn't wait to read about 'Ridin' IN Drag." Was searching for a tutu on the riders, in fact.

    • BenWritings profile image


      7 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      That's WHY I read it, Wayne ;] lol

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @BenWritings...Ha! At least you didn't read the title and assume it was a story about a "cross-dresser" out for a Sunday drive. Thanks, Ben! WB

    • BenWritings profile image


      7 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      Absolutely LOVED the first line, had me crackin up. HAHA

      Nice work Wayne

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @thebluestar...It's amazing the amount discipline poetry brings to the other aspects of one's writing. I was never so conscious of word choice as I have been since I took on he prose. Thanks much. WB

      @dahoglund...a handful of men maintaining control of hundreds of cows is a sight to see...a certain magic and artistry along with lots of hard work and dust. Thanks, DA. WB

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      A cattle drive was certainly not the place for the undisciplined. Like the military everybody depends on the other guy doing his job no matter what it is.

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Wayne a full novel in prose my friend. Loved it. Keep em coming cowboy.x

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @CMerritt...Most cowboys don't fear hard work or fact they welcome it. I as well share your fascination for that culture and it inspires me greatly. WB

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Wayne...that is a great example of how things are SUPPOSED to work....the newbies got to take the nasty jobs and learn.....hard work and perserverence, you work your way up towards the front.

      I love these kind of poems of yours...there is something fascinating about being a Cowboy that I have had with me since watching Matt Dillion, the rifleman, Bonanza and rawhide when I was a young'n.

      Up and awesome...

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @daskittlez69...I will take that as a very high compliment then...thank you for your read and comment. I have lots like this one so look around a bit. WB

      @WillStarr...Yeah, I stayed away from the smelly end! LOL! WB

      @SilverGenes...The same thoughts crossed my mind as I came up with the title but you know that's what a good title does! LOL! WB

      @rorshak sobchak...Thank you. I liked that pic myself! WB

      @marellen...Yeah Haw! Thank you! WB

      @Pamela99...A tough life but many men were drawn to it and still choose it today over better paying jobs. WB

      @writer20...Thank you, I appreciate it. WB

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      7 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great poem, Wayne

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Excellent poem about herding cattle. I can't even imagine eating the dust and staying on a horse all those hours. You have to respect someone that works that hard. I liked the song also.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


      Beautiful poem, Wayne...

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 

      7 years ago

      Great Hub. I love that picture you chose! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have to tell you, the title of this had me imagining something else entirely and it threw me off completely! I thought, no Wayne, please no. Cowboys are all man, then there was the movie... anyway, I'm so glad there were no dresses involved!

      Seriously, reading your poetry is like being swept off to another time and place. It's real, gritty, and powerfully written. I love the view in this one, the youth and ambition, the drive and imagination. This boy is on an adventure and we are all there with him. Awesome job!

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Excellent Wayne!

      Of course, it all depended on which way the wind was blowing. Sometimes drag was the best place to be!

    • daskittlez69 profile image


      7 years ago from midwest

      I don't like poetry that much, but this was pretty cool! Here is an up and an awesome.


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