“Dames on the Range”
a poem by Joyce Pallister © 2008
There's many a poem a'writtin'
About a cowboy's dog, and his life,
But have you ever heard a poem
about A cowhand and his wife?
There's many stories told about
Those cowhands dippin' for the Mange,
But where's the stories told about
Those dames out there on the range?
She's the gal who came to the west
In a covered wagon over rough trails,
But what he didn't tell her
Was that she'd be milkin' and packin' pails!
And that house that she thought
Would be a little nest,
Ended up to be made of mud,
That really proved to be quite a test.
For all was well until it rained
She ordered a four-poster bed
To keep the earthworms on the sheet
That kept them from falling on her head!
And what about that old black heater
Sittin' cornerwise to be sure,
She had the kids gather 'chips' in the fall
So they could burn those hunks of dried manure!
She kept the stove a burnin'
In winter's cold and frost,
Seemed they had to snuggle close
The result . . . another tot!
Speakin' of the children,
Bath night was quite a show,
In the big tub in the kitchen,
The baby got to go
First into the clean warm water,
Followed by dear old Dad,
The kids then took their turn,
And Mom was left with water that was 'pretty sad'!
She lit the fire every day,
And kept the kettle boilin' hot,
The garden supplied the vegetable,
They had delicious stew in the pot.
She didn't have close neighbors
But friends came now and then,
She always made the best dinner,
But she had to kill and pluck the hen!
Then there's those who can remember
The old smokehouse way out back,
The pork was killed and salted,
And the bacon hung at that shack.
You see, the bacon really was,
A sign of merry wealth,
For if a man "brought home the bacon".
It was a sign of 'family health'.
And have you ever thought about,
The Dames on the Range today?
For these are very special gals,
In every sort of way.
Now they're the gals, who've got the guts,
To be out there in rain or shine,
Riding beside that good cowboy,
She brings him through every time!
She's got beans and bacon in the oven,
And biscuits in the pan,
Getting' ready for branding day,
Running errands for her man.
He's given her a list that's so long,
It takes a lawyer to decipher,
"And don't forget to buy those needles,
We need them for that heifer."
She's supposed to stop at the health food store,
To pick up aloe vera for the cowhands.
"We need it on branding day
To paint over those fresh brands".
You see it really heals the hide,
And keeps the flies off that new brand,
On that little calf whose laid out flat,
With his butt down on the land.
And she's the one who takes a stroll
In the pasture every spring,
Her eye is peeled for locoweed and burdock,
That would affect the critters, and other things.
And what about those rancher's wives,
Who stretch the budget without a frown
Cause when they sit at the auction ring,
The price of cows has 'just gone down'!
When they get home, she does the books,
Cause she writes everything down
Because it's true, behind every successful rancher,
Is a wife who works in town!!
Gd. Dame Joyce Pallister
Meet Grande Dame Joyce Pallister – Entertainer, Author and Model.
As a performer, she won ‘2007 Reciter of the Year’ and ‘2008 Lyricist of the Year’ at the Canadian Country Gospel Music Awards.
Grande Dame Joyce enjoys writing and performing poetry - her love for people is shown through her creativity, her sense of humour, and her enthusiastic personality as ‘Minnie Pearl’ and ‘Minnie, The Reminiscer’.
She and her husband, Edwin roam southern Alberta, going to various venues and their sentimental appreciation of the rural lifestyle is demonstrated with every visit. Good people!