Cowboy poetry is a distinctly American literary tradition, one that is lyrical, often poignant, and usually undervalued as a form of verse. I have recently been watching back episodes of the A&E series, Longmire, where I came across two very good cowboy poems featured in episode twelve of the second season. The background for part of that particular show was a cowboy poetry slam at Henry's bar, "The Red Pony."
This poem certainly evokes the feel of the main character on the show, Sheriff Walt Longmire.
The episode was entitled, "A Good Death Is Hard to Find," and that was also the title of one of the poems. The versifier was not acknowledged.
A Good Death Is Hard to Find
The Cowboy has always been the dying breed-
But he takes his dying slowly, perched upon his steed-
The prairie is his prison, his church his wife-
You can take away his sky
You can take away his life-
Yet where does he go when the range is all closed?
Does he retire to his bunkhouse, and depressed propose?
No- he climbs back in that saddle- if just to bide his time
The Cowboy knows- a good death is hard to find.