A Bad Half Hour


By Charles ” Badger” Clark


Wonder why I feel so restless;
Moon is shinin' still and bright,

Cattle all is restin' easy,

But I just kaint sleep tonight.
Ain't no cactus in my blankets,
Don't know why they feel so hard
'Less 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 turnin' gray.

Yes, "her brow was like the snowdrift"
And her eyes like quiet streams,
"And her face" I still kin 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'

Fire Side by Fred Lawrence Miller (May 24, 1955–Nov 3, 2012)
was excerpted from his only book of poetry, Leftovers,
Latigoes & Lies. Fred was a popular outfitter, noted mule
man and highly-regarded cowboy poet from Alberta