Cowboy's hands
Bill Seaton awaits his turn in the arena on "Elka."

She was just sixteen; I was seventeen when we started life together.

Our love was strong; we could get along and make it last forever.

Our ranch was small, forty acres in all; our cows always needed tendin’.

The fences were old with big gaping holes; they always needed mendin’.

The winters were cold, but our cabin was warm with a fire always a-flame.

She could whip up a meal, for her, no big deal, tho’ we didn’t have much to our name.

When the drifts and the snow, melted, oh, so slow, a daughter was part of our home.

I couldn’t believe the bliss we received. Only fathers and mothers could know.

Her mother taught her to cook and to sew--to care for a home day by day.

But her love for the land grew stronger with time. She was my best hand I’d say.

Our acreage grew to forty times ten. It kept us on the move.

Our daughter grew, too, and showed to us that she had nothing to prove.

As time went by she caught the eye of the young man over the hill.

Was I ready to let her go with him? I just wanted to keep her, still.

But at seventeen she married that boy. They, too, would last forever.

This ranch and his were joined as one that they would run together.

God blessed them with children, who then had their own. We haven’t had any strife.

The years have been good. Our family has grown. We’ve had a wonderful life.

So time has gone by, we still have those cows, and the fences, there’s always that mendin’.

When we take the next step in the circle of life, I hope it’s that place we call Heaven.

—Bryce Angell