Cowboy Poetry – The Funeral

Heading to Grandpa Ed’s funeral

The Funeral
My brother Dane and I seem to always have the same misadventures luck,
I blame our Ma and Pa that raised us to be Colorado Redneck schmucks.
Now let me see if I can recollect the tale of Grandpa’s Ed’s funeral for you,
The road trip to Garden City, Kansas – we thought 2 cases of beer would make do.
It was 1982 and I had just bought on credit a shiny new Chevrolet Blazer,
And one of those newfangled boxes to defeat the lawman’s radar gun laser.
Many times Dane and I had made this trip before – did I mention we had beer?
In Grandpa’s passing, we had hope that Budweiser would give us some added cheer.
We were to be pallbearers at Grandpa’s funeral, so we packed our finest clothes,
Loading 2 cases of beer; I pointed the Blazer east and followed its sparkly nose.
Late in the day – darkness had fallen we drove straight towards the moon’s shadow,
Hate to admit but we broke out the beer long before we ever left eastern Colorado.
My brother Dane and I like each other company and we started in bullshitting,
Young as we were, we did not think of the wrong thing we were just committing.
Beer after beer we drank in honor of Grandpa Ed – we tried to drain our sorrow,
It was late into the night, I remembered to tell Dane of the AR-15 I had borrowed.
Pointing at the back seat where the fully automatic AR-15 lay in plain sight,
Explaining to Dane that in the country we were going to shoot it later that night.
Beer after beer and small town after small town the miles and highway rolled on,
I asked Dane, “Why have we not seen a Kansas state line sign?” – stifling a yawn.


Dane said, “Just keep driving!” Then we saw a – “Welcome to Oklahoma” sign,
Kansas the whole state we missed – laughing, we drove over the wrong state line.
After reading the, “Welcome to Oklahoma” we realized we had made a mistake,
Dane then fired me from driving, although drunk as I was – I really needed a break.
Running back into Colorado heading north or east – we were not rightly quite sure,
Needing to make up time for Grandpa’s Ed funeral after our Oklahoma detour.
With Dane now driving and after being in the wrong state and lost – no map to be had,
With miles to make up Dane stepped on the gas trusting the radar detector doodad.
Doing 100 towards Walsh, Colorado the radar detector sounded out with only one beep,
Dane slowed as we stared at the fancy gadget that kept quiet – not another peep.
As Dane speeded up again, I reached back for a couple of more Budweiser beer,
We decided to celebrate, because with that radar detector gizmo we had nothing else to fear.


Dane gunning it and had hit 90 when we saw a policeman’s blue and red light,
Flashing lights as his police car came in behind us -seemed this was not to be our night.
“Oh Shit!” we both said as I tried to hide the AR-15 and all of that damn beer,
Spilling not one, but three beers as Dane slowed and as the police car came near.
Dane my older brother – always the thinker – opened the door to go meet the man,
When three empty beer bottles hit the pavement, evidently not going as he had planned.
Dane casually opened the Blazer door and placed the beer bottles behind the driver seat,
With bright lights and with a very loud blow horn the lawman didn’t miss a beat.
“Get back in your vehicle. – Sir!” The police car loud speaker suddenly blared,
At this point Dane and I thought this was all sort of funny – clearly still impaired.
Now with that bright spotlight we could not tell how many policemen there were,
A man wearing a “Hill Street Blues” cap came to the door – Dane said “Howdy Sir!”
As the police flashlight lit up the inside – it was clear we were not at our best,
And no way in hell could either one of us pass a roadside sobriety test.
Mr. Law asked for registration, insurance, and driver license of my brother Dane,
What came next I always wondered if that policeman thought we were insane.
Under the flashlight – Dane looked for his license – he had to think he was dumb,
Dane clearly was baffled until Mr. Law said, “Right there it is, under your thumb.”
Mr. Law went to call us in to see about any arrest warrant or if we were wanted,
Obviously we were young and stupid as we waited now sobering and undaunted.
Mr. Law returned and in a clear voice said, “Got you doing 96 on the radar laser!”
Dane looked sorry and replied, “Sorry Sir, just it is a brand new Chevy Blazer.”
Mr. Law crunched his face, shook his head like – “What the hell does that mean?”
I wanted to crawl under my new Chevy Blazer dashboard to never more to be seen.
It was at that moment that the Mr. Lawman decided he just wanted to get rid of us,
There of course was a few things that he felt we needed us to hear and to – discuss.
Mr. Law said with disgust “In these small Mexican towns you need to slow down!”
“We got little kids playing kick the can and wandering the streets after sundown.”
Mr. Law bent down, looked us both in the eye, “Now what the hell is your story?”
From that statement I could tell he wasn’t stupid and knew of our outright outlawry.


Dane and I looked at each other knowing now we were going to spend time in jail,
All that flashed through my mind was we had to call our Aunt Doris now for the money and bail.
We told Mr. Law of getting lost and of the passing of our dear old Grandpa Ed,
All the truth came out except – about the beer and the AR-15 – nothing else was said.
Mr. Law sighed and handed my brother, his license and pointed us down the road,
Giving us directions to Garden City, he told us to turn right at the next crossroad.
Mr. Lawman turned to return to his car when a smile spread across my brothers’ face,
On the eve of Grandpa Ed’s funeral we were saved from a humiliating family disgrace.
Dane shouted, “You’re a good man. Thank you very much sir!” sounding sincere,
Mr. Law turned and said, “Damn straight boy, I saw those three bottles of beer!”
Kurt James

Kurt James © 2017

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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With family roots in western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years Kurt James naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt James has become one of Colorado's prominent nature photographer's through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. His poetry has been featured in the Denver Post, PM Magazine and on 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado. Kurt is also a feature writer for Hubpages and Creative Exiles with the article's focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L'amour and Max Brand have formed Kurt's natural ability as a story teller. Kurt James "Rocky Mountain" historical fiction series of 3 books that provide western adventure of the early days of the Rocky Mountain frontier and his newly released "Thoughts and Poetry of a Wandering Man" - the (Uniquely Colorado edition) are available in print and download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt is currently working on his 4th historical fiction novel "The Keegan Trail" which is set for release in December 2017.
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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With family roots in western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years Kurt James naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt James has become one of Colorado's prominent nature photographer's through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. His poetry has been featured in the Denver Post, PM Magazine and on 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado. Kurt is also a feature writer for Hubpages and Creative Exiles with the article's focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L'amour and Max Brand have formed Kurt's natural ability as a story teller. Kurt James "Rocky Mountain" historical fiction series of 3 books that provide western adventure of the early days of the Rocky Mountain frontier and his newly released "Thoughts and Poetry of a Wandering Man" - the (Uniquely Colorado edition) are available in print and download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt is currently working on his 4th historical fiction novel "The Keegan Trail" which is set for release in December 2017.

6 thoughts on “Cowboy Poetry – The Funeral

    • November 12, 2017 at 5:14 PM
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      Thanks Phyllis – if the read was not true then it would really be funny….lol…

      Reply
    • November 13, 2017 at 2:04 AM
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      Thanks Tony – I think we can all say – “Ah, those were the days!” – lol

      Reply
  • November 15, 2017 at 11:44 AM
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    I am still laughing! Great story! There are those moments when family does something that you just can’t make up. This reminded me of a few of my own. ~Priceless~

    Reply
    • November 15, 2017 at 6:02 PM
      Permalink

      Thanks Tammy – and glad I could get a laugh from you. LOL….

      Reply

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