Cowboy’s Labor Day

City folks can…maybe…take a day off but the cowboy’s work on the ranch never ends. Them cows gotta be cared for along with a dozen other chores. For me, it was just another dollar for another day. No foolin’ my pay was a dollar a day plus found. (For you city folks, found is a one word term for board and room.)

‘Twas in eighteen-eighty-two
it was first celebrated,
but just whose idea was it?
…a question much debated!

McGuire or Maguire…
which one started Labor Day?
It was one of them, for sure,
who thought up the holiday.

Was it Peter or Matthew?
That is sorta disputed
’cause the record is unclear…
how it was instituted.

If it’s truly important,
history’ll have to decide,
’cause truth can’t be sorted out
although many folks have tried.

But the holiday exists
to give labor it’s just due
by honoring those who work…
that includes us cowboys too!

So here’s a toast to them gents
who set up this holiday.
I’m just gonna enjoy it
this puncher is gonna play.

Leave the horses corralled up
and let the cattle run free
because of this holiday
that is meant for you and me.

Fences just won’t get mended
and the stock will not get fed
’cause I’m taking the day off
just like them two fellers said.

From the book Western Images, (c)2007 by Clark Crouch.
Winning book: 2008 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Cowboy Poetry.