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Second Time Around


We must sell it, I told Mother, for we really have no other

choice.  The price is much too dear to harbor any doubt.

And though I know we'll miss it the time has come to kiss it

            goodbye and find another place a little further out.

When the Indians sold Manhattan to a Dutch aristocrat in

            fancy breeches for a blanket and a twenty dollar bill

It presaged a corrosion, an urban sprawl erosion

            that covets all the fertile ground and overruns us still.

It's not givin' up, I told her, just that we are gettin' older

            and besides, the country's really not the country anymore.

We're surrounded by construction that has zoned the mass destruction

            of our pastures and our neighbors and our never lockin' door.


Why, just look at that horizon where we watched the sun arisin'

            after milkin' on those mornin's when the air was clear and still.

Now the houses clone each other, everyday, it seems another,

            as they creep a little closer like a stain upon the hill.

But there's no way we can change it.  No way to rearrange it

            that would suit us 'cause the truth is, they'd plow us underground.

So we take the offer made us, be thankful that they paid us

            enough to make a better start the second time around.

And we'll find a place less crowded, where the air is still unclouded,

            where the country still is friendly to our kind of pioneers.

Though the homeplace still might beckon, they will ravage her, I reckon,

            so we're better off just movin' while we've got a few good years...

And are able to think clearly and can still hold back the tears.

Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, former large-animal veterinarian and entertainer of the agricultural masses. Learn more at www.baxterblack.com

Baxter Black