The Long Haul

They came to buy claims,
And I brought my herd.
We flocked to the West
With our fortunes assured.

Gold had been found
Lining rivers and streams,
And thoughts of great wealth
Flowed into our dreams.

The miners were thorough
And left nothing to spare.
In a matter of years,
All the rivers were bare.

But my herd never failed me;
Though hard, life is stable.
My long days of labour
Keep food on the table.

And when the sun rises,
The cattle glow bright.
I look forward to morning
As I drift off each night.

Though the miners have gone
From streams empty and cold,
I’m here for the long haul;
The ranch is my gold.

Camilla Mann from Victoria is the first-place winner of the 2017 BCCHS Poetry Scholarship with her poem, “The Long Haul.”