on the east side of wyoming
sits a ranch my granddad bought
about a century ago
and for many years he fought
to eke out an existence
with grandma at his side
grazing cattle, raising kids
striving to provide
food to fill the table
when the great depression hit
working all their lives
for their family’s benefit

my sister jane and i
spent many childhood days
romping through the pastures
or making hideaways
in the coal bin or the cellar
in the attic or the shed
and we’d sometimes chase the horses
which were hardly thoroughbred

that ranch became our father’s
later in his life
and after mother passed away
he took another wife
they sold their homes in town
and moved out to the land
where our father had been born
then played his final hand

he had written out a will
but didn’t dot the “i”s
and the ranch went to his second wife
upon his sad demise
he’d specifically requested
that the homestead be passed on
to her three kids and jane and me
once his second wife was gone

but he didn’t trust attorneys
and he didn’t follow through
he assumed his wishes would be met
oh if he only knew
that jane and i now seem shut out
of the only legacy
of all our family’s life of work
that we will ever see (continued)

and it’s not the loss of money
that our share might represent
it’s the loss of faith in others
that’s the sadder worriment
and the loss of heritage
of the years that antecede
but history and honor
could not win out over greed

so we no longer visit
the land where we were shaped
where young spirits roamed so freely
and young knees were sometimes scraped

this story is as old
as the greeks or brothers grimm
and the chances it could change
are looking pretty slim
but the story isn’t over
and is not writ in stone
people are surprising
and endings are unknown

the land will still be there
when all of us are gone
this land where buffalo grazed
that indians rode upon

yes this story is as old
as those proverbial hills
wherein that ranch lies nestled
impervious to wills
or deeds
or greed
or our presence there
but it’s part of jane and me
one that we’ll always share
part of who we’ve been
part of who we’ll be
and we can only mourn
this loss of history

posted by admin on April 16, 2005, at 1:00 am | filed under poetry | no comments »

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