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The Old Headquarters

By Walt Perryman

When I was a kid, I spent some time on a ranch on the West Texas range.
Fifty something years later, I went back out there to see if there was any change.
Back then, driving out, you could see the cluster of trees from five miles ahead.
But it was not like that anymore because the trees were all dead.

The old two-story ranch house had burned down many years back.
The only thing left standing was a piece of the old chimney stack.
The old windmill had fallen and was laying on the ground,
Bits and pieces of it were scattered for a long way around.

I walked out where the barn and horse pens once were
. Under some rubble, I found a piece of a saddle and a rusty spur.
Somehow, the old memories started coming back to me,
About how beautiful and full of life this old ranch used to be.

I remembered two cowboys-one was Slim the other one was Ben.
I like to believe that piece of saddle and rusty spur belonged to those men.
There were two kids; they were older than I was by a year or maybe two,
But we did not play very much because there were too many chores to do.

Their mother always had clean clothes hanging out on the clothesline.
She always cooked us big meals and man, were they fine.
Back then, wearing a hat in the house was a big deal.
It was almost as big of a sin, as not saying grace before each meal.

I remembered some cowboys breaking horses in the round pen,
But I really could not recall if it was Slim or old Ben.
I could almost hear the old windmill noise as it pumped water into the tank.
I could almost taste the cool water when I would get a big drink.

There is not much out there anymore, everything is gone or fallen apart.
But it is still a beautiful and busy old ranch deep down in my heart.

2004 Walt Perryman

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