In a Sow’s Ear
I’m working on a collection of stories, poems and essays to be titled, “HOW TO BE ELDERLY, A User’s Guide.” Awhile back, I put together a small booklet carrying the title: “How To Be Elderly, A User’s Guide, Volume One.” Time, unfortunately, has passed. I’m way beyond Volume One. I’m up to about Volume Bazillion, so instead of a booklet, it’ll be a tome so heavy it can be used as a headstone on my grave.
The biggest regret about getting on toward that final planting is watching a cute guy’s expression turn from an eager light in the eyes to one of disappointment. It’s almost as if he’s embarrassed to be looking at a granny-aged female. Still and all, for us antediluvian gals, it’s always a pleasure just to be able to inhale testosterone infused air. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
I had not planned on decomposing
Nor losing zip or zest.
No way, thought I, I’ll keep on going
I will not turn grotesque.
While others rot and decompose,
I’ll stay young and hot.
I’ll grab each star along the trail
Old age will touch-me-not.
But lately I have noted changes,
Along the path I’ve chosen.
My shape has puddled in the middle,
And all my joints have frozen.
My walk’s a turtle shuffle.
I’ve potholes in my skin.
Which sags like laundry on the line
And wobbles ‘neath my chin.
And for gratifying flirting joy,
I’ve lived way past my prime.
No longer do the cowboys stare
Or beg me for my time.
I can walk into a crowded nightspot,
Where hormones ricochet.
And not one waddie hassles me.
No one makes my day.
I do not hear those lewd remarks
Describing face and form.
No puncher puts his arm around me
Just to keep me warm.
And if by chance a cowboy codger
Shambles up to me
And claims he wants my lovin’ friendship
Well … there’s a catch you see.
He either needs his shirts washed out
Or he has an empty belly.
And should I feed him, he’ll eat and belch
Then flop before the Telly.
So I say, hey there, handsome cowpoke,
You with youthful vim
In skinny Wranglers and fancy boots
A-lookin’ for some sin.
When goin’ out around the town
Saturday night harassing.
Remember us old gals lingerin’ here
And give us a squeeze in passing.
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Hudspeth County, Texas — In the fall of 2019, ranch hands were gathering a bull when they noticed something out of place. One of their employer’s cows was freshly branded, with someone else’s brand.