by Mark Munzert
They trim the hoof and fit the shoe,
Arrive ‘bout time it’s overdue.
Scheduled the visit last he was here,
Actually get here a month later than that you fear.
‘Leave a message after the tone.’
Do any Smithies really answer their phone?
Drivin’ old ambulances, hearses, or trailers by trucks.
Never new, not an easy way to make big bucks.
‘Windshield time or at the hoof.
Bills to pay and keep a roof.’
Arrive on time, maybe not.
Smoke, spit or snort out snot.
Boots, jeans and working chaps,
Grungy tee and a parka perhaps.
Double loop earrings and a pig-tail trail his baseball brim.
A cowboy hat and her mustache needin’ a trim.
Straight to their work or talking a song,
‘the Vet might be right but sometimes they’re wrong.’
Brought that dog you knew might bite.
Sometimes it hurts when you were right.
Anvil, rasp, hoof jack and nippers,
Forge, hammer, and crescent clippers.
Stiff, sore knees and achin’ back,
A longer shirt would hide that crack.
Cups the fetlock. Trim and file.
Leanin’ in all the while.
A regular route all year long.
I know one, always singing a song.
Heads down south for the winter season.
‘Too dang cold’ his only reason.
Some are young, some old school.
Some are aged and not so cool.
‘cash works, rubber checks don’t
for them butt-heads, work, I won’t’
It’s all done, you un-stress.
Your only wish…the bill was less.

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