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Baxter Black: Feast or Famine

Baxter Black/For the Saturday Morning Press

Editor’s note: The following is a poem by Baxter Black

Editor’s note: The following is a poem by Baxter Black

In feast or famine, at least examine

the game we came to play

‘Cause win or lose, it’s how we use

the card that come our way…

“Just let’er rain,” the rancher said, “We’ve built up quite a thirst.

I know the low road’s plum washed out, the tank dam’s bound to burst.

We’ll have to plant the wheat again and clean the water gaps

But you won’t hear this fool complain if it reaches to my chaps!

The truth is, friends, we’ve needed this. We’ve been so dry so long.

I thought I’d have to sell the cows and pay the piper’s song.

The winter grass just lay there, stiff, for months it never changed.

I’d walk out through the craklin’ brown that covered all my range

And watch the wind blow dust clouds where the good grass shoulda been.

I’d count the bales in the stack and calculate again.

The days of feedin’ I had left before I’d have to face

The ultimate decision, what I’d do to save the place.

The weatherman was helpful, ‘cept he always told the truth!

Peddlin’ chance of ten percent meant it just rained in Duluth!

That’s nice for Minnesota but it don’t help me a bit,

I gave up chewin’ Red Man so I wouldn’t have to spit!

But he said last night, ‘a chance of rain.’ More than just a trace.

I washed the car and left the windows open just in case

And sure enough this mornin’ big ol’ clouds came rollin’ in.

They parked above the driveway and the thunder made a din

That rattled all the winders in the house where I sat still.

And at two it started rainin’. I still ain’t got my fill.

It’s comin’ down in buckets like its payin’ back a debt.

Me? I’m standin’ in the front yard, in my shorts and soakin’ wet!

When the sun comes out tomorrow and sparkles all around

Off pools and puddles standin’ like big diamonds on the ground

I’ll remember feast or famine, but when it comes to rain

Ya take the feast when offered, if ya live out on the plain.”

http://www.baxterblack.com http://www.baxterblack.com http://www.baxterblack.com


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