by Mark Munzert
Barn cats at my feet, race me to their tack room bowl.
Sammy wraps my ankle. Trouble keepin’ weight, age takin’ toll.
Patient Joey sits. Lost most ‘is tail long ago.
Looks like an ol’ bobcat, still a hunter though.
Sammy and Joey in their zone,
with their cat chow, they leave me alone.
Note to self: lube door hinge.
Time to prep the six horse a.m. binge.
Just my nature to greet my friends.
We have a bond that forever mends.
Heads lift, eyes peer, resounding whinnies make it clear.
It’s about time I fill the scoop,
dish the good stuff, complete the loop.
I talk to them, they listen to me.
I hear from them in what I see.
Supplements and joint flex for Chelsea and Rusty.
Jay, so mellow. Annabelle, lusty.
Young and awkward, Gunnar pins his ears.
Clara, grinds grain like long worn gears.
Knife open a bale and dish the hay.
Often thanked with a resounding neigh.
Cats emerging.
Horses splurging.
Stretch the hose and fill the pails,
plucking burdocks out of tails.
Halter and lead out to the pasture
or perhaps another lesson to master.
Chelsea believes she’s the queen,
struts the center aisle proud of her sheen.
Me and Belle are pretty tight,
used to be quite a fight.
First we met, she’d spin real quick,
more than once she tried to kick.
Now she is happy to say hello,
calm enough, but rarin’ to go.
I usually pair the two old men.
Their lush pasture across the glen.
Rusty and Jay clomp slowly lookin’ around.
Their pace quickens with raising ground.
Then comes Clare, a quiet mare,
mature lady with a regal aire.
The quiet is quite calming,
even with Gunnar’s behavior alarming.
I stay chill and give him time to learn
and I’m often taught a lesson in return.
Eventually, for the day, they’re turned out.
I enjoy this time, without a doubt.
I prep the barn and ready to go.
Always a deep breath because I know…
My life is better ‘cause of equine kin,
and I start my day with a great big grin!
Mark Munzert has been branded ‘the Cowboy Poet of the Northeast’ as his present home is in upstate New York’s Mountains region. The ranch-hand, descendant of horse-folk, cow-losopher performs regularly at Western events, dude ranches, and many Cowboy Gatherings. Contact him at 315-480-7586 or