My son Colby has loved to write since he was old enough to hold a pencil. And now he’s writing cowboy poetry like his dad and his grandfather. His latest poem is about a subject I’ve written about, too, but I think Colby does it a whole lot better than I ever did. Here’s his take on it.
The Man Who Made Fire
Often times I wonder what mark I might leave;
Will my spirit move on, or will it reside in the trees?
Will people know I was here, will my name carry on the breeze?
Will my children remember me, or their children, too?
Will I be wise or will I be a fool?
Searching for this answer, I look to the books—
Twain’s got his name in every novel I look,
Rockefeller on every shelter and in every nook.
George Strait’s written in fate with every play of his songs,
And John Wayne claims his fame all day long.
Who, then, has the greatest memory?
Who will outlive even the eldest redwood tree?
There’s but one eligible, one who’s on the run with his invention’s spree—
The man who made fire has grown on memory’s feast fat.
Who can compete with a tool like that?
With every strike of a flint and steel,
With every flick of a lighter colored teal,
With every roar of a blazing hearth making a home-cooked meal,
The man who made fire lives again;
What a way to die, outside of Death’s great pen!
The man who made fire, no one knows his name,
No one knows his work, fishing or hunting game,
Hell, no one even knows if he was a man!
But one thing I know for sure, is he wanders wherever fire may flit,
And he’s with me now, watching the fire and the cattle from where I sit.
I’ll never know the feel of his hands, the color of his hair.
I’ll never know if he had piercing eyes or a soft stare.
I’ll never know if he had a jaw round or square.
But I do know he’s among my greatest friends,
As his fire staves off the cold and keeps me warm until this night’s end.