The old rancher fin’ly gave up the horse and succumbed to an ATV four-wheel.
He had to have both hips replaced after the drunk wrecked him and his automobile.
His wife and he were headed to town to celebrate their fiftieth when the truck slid into their lane.
A head-on collision, hydroplaning was the official report, and they’d been praying for some rain.
No doubt at the scene, the truck-driver was staggering, but he lied through his minor abrasions.
Trapped in their car, Ma fared better than he, no broken bones but many glass shard lacerations.
The ‘jaws of life’ were applied, he was freed and then they wrapped up that what was bleeding.
Emergency surgery for internal injuries is what he’d be needing.
It was touch n’ go through the night and he didn’t awake until late the next day.
His wife had bandages on her head sleeping in a chair in his post-op bay.
Her touch to his cheek and kiss to his lips spoke eons of the love between the two.
Their hands clenched with occasional squeeze,”don’t worry, we’ll get through”.
Two-weeks it took until he returned to the ranch, and then by wheelchair.
It’d be a month before he could walk, and he credited the prayer.
A window gave him view. Pleased the ‘hands’ upped ante an’ handled things right well.
‘Course the banker and town folk figured the old-man’s ranch would go straight to...well.
There was his son to guide the ranch and more than a few able, loyal hands.
Those he could rely on, some better than ten years, that knew cow, horse and lands.
Insurance pays just so much and the medical bills began to pile.
Ma fretted and he reassured by chuckl’in and fakin’ his best smile.
The crash marked the first and last rain of the season and conditions were now clearly drought.
Facing nature’s torment, sellin’ off yearlings was the only way to get through this bout.
Their faith was tested, prayers unanswered, and the meteorologist hadn’t a clue.
Water hauled, he reminded the ‘hands’, “don’t worry, we’ll get through”.
He’d long left post holes an’ pitching hay to the younger and the stout.
But it near broke his spirit an’ heart not to dress his pony out.
He tried riding again but the pain was too much and something the doctor had forbade.
The four-wheeler his option, an’ escape from the ranch house, and his rancher working aide.
He could stay close to the crew, move the cows and give his orders too.
He sure missed his saddle an’ ol’ cayuse but this would have to do.
They were popping cattle from a thicket and he let out a curse.
The wheeler to wide for the grove, ridin’ ‘round spouting language terse.
It wasn’t uncommon, the dogrel, but now they questioned his old sense.
Hard enough with a horse, and the thicket, prickered, razor-sharp, and dense.
The stubborn son of a... rancher dove in to chase them cows out.
But he got tied up in branches, his decision was in doubt.
He surveyed his predicament not sure of what to do.
He answered the hands’ calls, “don’t worry, we’ll get through.”
Copyright 2019 - Mark Munzert