Cowboy Poetry: Lost in the Dark

Have you ever ridden on a night so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face?
Much less a fence—but your pony stops, so you get off to find the gate
That colt you’re riding is plenty tired, the darkness has made him tense
He shies to the end of the bridle rein and he bounces off the fence
By the grace of God you hold on, and he settles down some
You’re wishing now you’d a started sooner, ‘cause you’re not sure the way you come.
But you’ve been out visiting neighbours, and you know how that can go
Time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s after one before you know
There must be a front moving in. There’s no wind but it’s dang cool
You think of your coat hanging on the round corral gate back home like a danged fool
Well, you get the gate shut and you slip back on, he’s moving before you sit
You slide in there nice and easy, ‘cause he’s about as green as they get.
You go a ways; you think you hear a cow bawl, then you think you hear a crick
But dang, you think you hear a lot of things when the darkness is so thick
You could wear it like a blanket, almost feel it on your skin
You’re wishing you’d rode an old horse that knows just where he’s been
Every hole, every rock, every bush and every ledge
seems to trip up that colt and set you right on edge
You take holt your reins and rope; no one will see you ride this way
But if he was to lay you down out here they wouldn’t find you til the light of day
You sure don’t enjoy riding in this dark embrace
You been working less than a month in this one particular place
And you don’t really know the country, your colts only got a few rides
The cold and dark starts creeping in and tightens up your insides
You can’t tell up from down, much less West or East,
You’d like to lay your hand down, you’d like to trust the beast
He’d probably pull you through, probably get you home
Or you could find yourself covered by a morning dew all cold and alone
It’s funny how life can sometimes turn out like a short little ride
And you get caught out in the dark and fear starts to creep up inside
And you can let it take control, leaving you cold and alone
Or you can let that pony have its head and let the Lord guide you home.

“Lost in the Dark” is recorded on Matt Robertson’s music CD, The Old Roan Horse.