Just what is a "cowboy?" I'd venture to say that each of us has our own idea of what is inside the person with the big hat and boots.
Look at me.
No, really look at me.
Look through the mist of your imagination.
See me as I am not as you’d have me be.
See me as a person, not a symbol.
Look at me.
See the calluses and fingernail grit.
Hard work for low wages and no benefits.
Oh, there is one benefit.
Look at me
Saddling someone else’s horse,
sharing dos and don’ts with forced smiles.
See me as I am not as I used to be
It’s difficult being an icon when your back hurts.
Look at me,
a saddle pal to new starry eyed wannabes every week.
But, when you go home to Starbucks and stress
I still get to ride where spaces are wide.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005
A cowboy can be simply someone who works with cattle and all that entails. It can be someone who is not afraid to stand up for what they think is right. "Cowboy" can conjur up lot of different images depending on our feelings and objectives at any moment. I've met a few real cowboys who also have spent their lives playing cowboys in the movies. It strikes me that the traits we admire in a silver screen hero, such as independence, speaking your mind, not abiding foolishness and not pandering, can appear to be just rude behavior when you are confronted by them in the flesh. But they're just being who they are, not who I think they should be.
God Bless The Buckaroo
He’s a symbol of America, of mom and apple pie
who helps because you need it and don’t care the reason why.
Some sneer at his integrity. Some tend to put him down.
But every time there’s trouble, folks are glad that he’s around.
But, in peace, they say, “Don’t be John Wayne.”
As if that’s something wrong.
I tell you if we’re not like him it sure won’t take too long
for us to lose our freedom, lose our focus, lose our way
and wander round like sheep that simply graze the day away
on what ever is before ‘em. They go where they are led
“Like a lamb off to the slaughter” is one way I’ve heard it said.
So, set yer jaw and set yer course. Set out to do what’s right.
Our country needs its cowboys; rough and ready for the fight.
God Bless our hard won freedom, bless the red, the white and blue.
And while you’re at, I’d just add, “God Bless the Buckaroo”
Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 2002