The Corner

U.S.

A Cowboy and His Poem

A scene from Three Forks, Mont., in 2012 (Jim Urquhart / Reuters)

Today, I begin a journal, an Elko journal. Elko, Nev., is the home of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. In Part I of this journal, I mention Waddie Mitchell, a cowboy poet who comes from Elko. A woman in a hotel breakfast room read a poem of his (out loud). This was “The Whole Load,” about a new preacher who comes to the West and whose congregation, on this Sunday morning, consists of no one — “’cept one old cowboy in a back pew there.”

Here in the Corner, I thought I’d link to the author himself — reading his own poem: here. This poem, as I say in my journal, is typical of cowboy poetry, in that it’s both corny and wise. Touching, too. Listen to Waddie and see what you think.

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