A Bad Half Hour

Wonder why I feel so restless;
Moon is shinin’ still and bright,
Cattle all is restin’ easy,
But I just kain’t sleep tonight.
Ain’t no cactus in my blankets,
Don’t know why they feel so hard —
‘Lesst it’s Warblin’ Jim a-singin’
“Annie Laurie” out on guard.

“Annie Laurie” — wish he’d quit it!
Couldn’t sleep now if I tried.
Makes the night seem big and lonesome
And my throat feels sore inside.
How my Annie used to sing it!
And it sounded good and gay.
Nights I drove her home from dances
When the east was turning gray.

Yes, “her brow was like the snowdrift”
And her eyes like quiet streams,
“And her face” — I still can see it
Much too frequent in my dreams;
And her hand was soft and trembly
That night underneath the tree.
When I couldn’t help but tell her
She was “all the world to me.”

But her folks said I was “shif’less,”
“Wild,” “unsettled.” — they was right,
For I leaned to punchin’ cattle
And I’m at it still tonight.
And she married young Doc Wilkins —
Oh my Lord! but that was hard!
Wish that fool would quit his singin’
“Annie Laurie” out on guard.

Oh I just kaint stand it thinkin;
Of the things that happened then.
Good old times, and all apast me!
Never seem to come again —
My turn? Sure.  I’ll come a runnin’.
Warm me up some coffee, pard —
But I’ll stop that Jim from singin’
“Annie Laurie” out on guard.

A Bad Half Hour by Badger Clark excerpted from Sun and Saddle Leather 1917