Part of the Mare Herd at the 4DH Ranch in Oklahoma. For More Works by Debra Coppinger Hill Click Image.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


When I think of her, I see two pictures,
  side by side in Grandma’s book...
A hopeful young nurse, in a starched white dress,
  and a red-head, in a wheat field, with a grinnin’, onery look.
She was a nurse, when it was a job,
  that only a woman would do,
She nursed in town odd hours,
  then planted wheat and bottle-fed calves too.
Because she married a handsome farmer,
  and together they would homestead,
And in the course of fifty-some years,
  kept each other’s spirits warm and fed.

She learned how to drive most any tractor,
  and she knew how to plow,
And she knew about delivering babies,
  be they human, or be they cow.
This dual life she lived,
  sometimes took everything she had,
But if you asked her about it,
  she’d say, “Aw, it’s not so bad...
You see, life is an Adventure,
  if you play the cards you’re dealt,
Good times you let the seams out on your britches,
  bad times, you hold ‘em up with a belt.”

She loved to share ideas,
  and she had an open and inquisitive mind,
She said you should look for miracles,
  because they’re not that hard to find.
Like babies and calves in the spring,
  crocus and crystal in the snow,
And seeing your friends and loved ones,
  everywhere you go.

She would have been pleased to see all the people,
  who came to the service that day,
She never would have believed so many would come,
  just to honor an Old Farm Girl that way.
And every one had a story,
  about how she touched their life,
Like the one told by a man
   and his forever grateful wife.
The man was smashed by a tractor,
  they fetched her to their farm,
She bagged his lungs and breathed for him,
  for two and a half hours, with her work-strong arms.

 The stories would have embarrassed her,
  it was her job, as a nurse, you see,
I must have heard a thousand such tales,
  and in each one, her humbleness was the key.
So, we stood around the funeral home,
  and we laughed, as we told her favorite jokes,
She would have enjoyed the laughter,
  she would have gotten in her pokes.

 Then her Husband asked me what I wanted of hers,
  I said, just her nurses hat...
But, true to form, she’d given it to a younger nurse,
  so, I figured, that was that.
Then he brought me her old straw hat,
  the one she farmed and gardened in,
And a rhinestone brooch she always wore,
  and her little gold nurses pin.

Then came the time we dreaded,
  we had to say Good-bye,
And we’re just not the kind of people,
  who stand around and cry,
You see, Death is a CELEBRATION,
  and if you do it right,
Your whole Life is a Ministry,
  until your soul takes flight.

 And if you’re really lucky,
  people miss you when you’re gone,
And maybe write a line or two,
  that keeps your memory strong.
So, I wrote down these words,
  that would have made her shy,
So, you would know, we loved her,
  and who she was, and why.
For in her UNSELFISH lifetime,
  she had truly done it all...
Everything, from those starched white dresses,
  to the evening cattle call.


For more information on Debra Coppinger Hill go to AlwaysCowboy.com.

RIDING DRAG with DEBRA COPPINGER HILL is featured each week at ALWAYS COWBOY where Debra is a Resident Western Poet. Join her and her Cowboy Friends for Cowboy Poetry, News & Events. http://alwayscowboy.net/debra_coppinger_hill_poetry.html

No comments: