This one was one of my first poems, and remains one of my favourite. It was born of the idea of balance in my flag works, and how good the end result of that felt. Days spent in the pen hearing my boss say "look at your line - look where you need to be". It was inspired by a couple mares that have come into my life. Gritty, tough, hard to please, hard to earn their trust, problem children, and they've always turned out the best.
A whole lotta grit in a little body
I've said it once before,
But I'll say it once again,
The road to success, I am sure,
Is through balanced hoofprints in the sand.
I've never more appreciated hard work and lesser pay,
Then when my flag work lines are even, true and straight throughout the day.
And when the day is done, I find my recognition standing there,
In the sand-rimmed hocks and now-calm eyes of my wild catty mare.
For when we started out, she sure could buck and squall.
And the mere sight of a cow would send her skittering toward the back arena wall.
Old cowboys milling 'round would tell me, "Oh don't worry, that's a sign, of a talented little cutting mare - you'll find this all in time."
And somehow, over time, we got each other figured out,
I learned to sit... quit hangin' on her mouth,
And she, despite herself, attempted a much calmer route.
Now here we stand as last days light illuminates those even lines drawn throughout the sand,
I look out at the sun setting down upon the land,
And I count myself lucky I put aside my foolish pride,
And learned to stick that catty mare throughout her wildest rides.