My old Daddy always said, “Never loan your gun to a man.
Never fire your last shell less you have two guns to hand.
Don’t loan your horse of course, no matter how close the friend.
Don’t get a pard to talk to your gal, unless you want it to end.
Any of them can break your heart and some can set you afoot.
Don’t go to a dance in new boots; don’t trust a man in a suit.”
He had a lot of dos, a lot of don’ts, and some maybes,
Like never ride a sore backed horse, always smile at babies,
Tip your hat to the ladies no matter where you meet ‘em,
The street, the church, the bawdy house, careful how you greet ‘em.
If you wrong someone go set it right if set it right you can.
Live your life so you don’t have to duck a lady, nor a man.
Let folks know where you stand, but don’t act up, nor buck.
Remember fattening steers ain’t usually in good luck.
Life is what you make it; you get back what you give.
Be straight, ride for the brand; it’s the only way to live.
If you get it right and live it right and give it all you got,
The foreman at the Sky Ranch will say, “Come in, the coffee’s hot.”
Coffee Up~used in Esther M. Leiper-Estabrooks Column, Poetry Editor, Writer’s Journal~January/February 2010