top of page

Old Jethro

Me and old Jethro were ridin’ the line

Checkin’ the fences and such

The weather was hot but the horses were fine

And the cattle were down in the gultch

I looked at old Jethro, he never said much

He sat tall and straight as a pine

His face was tanned the color of snuff

And his clothes were covered with grime

Like many a cowpoke he was practically mute

As silent and still as a deer

But when he spoke he told you the truth

Usually something you needed to hear

The day was a scorcher, as I was sayin’,

I was dreamin’ about a cold drink

Maybe a swim I was hopin’ and prayin’

I needed to wash off my stink

We were guiding our horses down toward the creek

When Jethro began clearing his throat

I stopped in my tracks when he started to speak

Then he spat out a lugi and croaked,

“You oughten go down to the crick in this heat

Them rocks are a crawlin’ with snakes.”

Then he turned his old mare and made his retreat

And left me to make my mistakes

I wasn’t afraid of a rattler or two

The water looked rippling and cool

So I did what I thought I needed to do

And guided my horse to the pool

Harris Tobias


Makes me think that ...

In this piece Harris Tobias continues his descriptive insights into the working world of the cowboy.

It's easy to join our team of readers. Check out this video to see how.


It could be you. Join our team of readers.

More people are writing and thinking about work-based poetry. Does this poem make you think of anything? Send your thoughts to

Send a poem you've written or one you like and we'll share it with other WorkInWords readers.

Screenshot 2019-02-08 16.18.01.png

If you would like to make a recording of this poem, click here to find out how.

bottom of page