Old Cowboy Hat

Old Cowboy Hat

Shuffling amongst some old dusty boxes I found a box of memory gold,
Damn, your old hat was dusty and dirty and really seemed quite – old.

Memories inundated me after you had gotten the cowboy hat at the western store,
Holding it quietly in my hands – thinking of the tales from long ago and from – before.

That old cowboy hat rode your head like some fine horseman from the days gone by,
You would have given me crap for taking a deep breath or two to hold back a teary eye.

Many nights of honky tonkin’ and spinning some gals as we danced the night away,
Drinking Coors and courting those same gals down by the river in our hidden hideaway.

Back in those days wearing our cowboy hats we liked to fight others just for the grins,
In my mind, I like to think we won those fights, but in truth there were some we didn’t win.

That old cowboy hat went fishing with us every time up in the Rocky Mountains streams,
Your cowboy hat was a witness to our worries, fears, happiness, laughter and – our dreams.

That old cowboy hat if it could talk it could also tell the world about all of our sins,
And it could lay out a map of both of our wanderings of every place we have ever been.

That old cowboy hat had seen the Colorado blistering wind and its bone chilling cold,
Over the Divide with countless hours above timberline watching majestic sunrises unfold.

I remember that very somber autumn day when your mother gave me your old cowboy hat,
She had told me – you had died rolling the pick up at the bend of the river on the South Platte.

Even though you died back in the summer 1978 – I still I still think of you almost every day,
Because in your very short life and during our friendship of all the things I didn’t get to say.

What I would give just for another hour of our friendship so we could sit down and chat,
Never fear, my old friend one day we will meet again, – for now I still have your old cowboy hat.
Kurt James

Kurt James © 2018
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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Kurt’s family roots were from western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years, Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographers through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. The Denver Post, PM Magazine, and 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado featured his poetry. 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 storyteller. Kurt has published 16 books all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand, Kurt James novels, short stories, reference books, and poetry, are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt has 3 books that he is currently writing. The 8th book in his Rocky Mountain Series - Raphael Eye for an Eye. His third ghost town reference book, Kansas Ghost Towns, Hauntings, Treasure Tales, and Other BS. And a western/horror novel - Devil’s Tower Spirit of Chiha Tanka. Kurt is a proud member of Western Writers of America.

13 thoughts on “Old Cowboy Hat

  • July 14, 2018 at 7:45 PM

    A touching piece and well expressed Kurt. Its hard when we miss those loved ones now parted. But they always remain in our hearts. nice work my friend.

  • July 14, 2018 at 8:51 PM

    This is a wonderful piece of reminiscing, Kurt. Friends and loved ones always live on in at least one memorable possession… in this case a cowboy hat. A touching read.

    • July 15, 2018 at 1:04 AM

      Thanks John – in some ways this piece was easy to write and in others it was very difficult to express.

  • July 14, 2018 at 11:21 PM

    Nostalgic reminiscing and heart-warming memories. Beautifully penned and a pleasure to read, Kurt. So wonderful you have the cowboy hat that was so much a part of him, and the friendship always with you in spirit. A lovely tribute, dear poet.

  • July 15, 2018 at 1:06 AM

    Thank you Phyllis – and sometimes I wonder what we would be without memories of those that passed before us.

  • July 15, 2018 at 7:01 AM

    Beautifully rendered and expressed with an emotional charged lump in your throat and a knot in your stomach my friend. That feeling of loss never leaves us, a reminisce left behind for us ensures that their memory will always be cherished. I too have an old hat, left to me from a dear friend of long ago. Every time I lift it to my nose to smell memories gone by a tear appears in my eye. I tip the brim in memory of all those we have lost in our present life with the hope that we all meet again on the other side of somewhere. As star dust and atoms hopefully we are blended into a new life without our lost ones. Much enjoyed your writing this Kurt. Peace my friend.

    • July 15, 2018 at 8:00 AM

      Vincent it does my heart good to see that you dropped by my campfire for a spell – been way to long my friend and as just as before you wisdom shines through. Glad you enjoyed this poem it means a lot to me. take care and happy trails to you.

  • July 17, 2018 at 8:58 AM

    Very touching piece my friend. It’s so crazy how one thing can unleash such a flood of emotions, but theres always that one thing. It is good too sometimes to open yourself up to those floods and cleanse the soul. Great piece very touching indeed.

    • July 17, 2018 at 6:27 PM

      Thanks Paul for stopping by – One can never know what little thing will bring a flood of memories – good or bad. Thinking that is what makes us all human.

  • October 15, 2021 at 6:27 PM

    That Old Cowboy hat is a treasure…for sure. And been through a lot with you. Also, a keepsake reminder of a great old friend to boot. Excellent, Poem. Brought me to the Rockies as I read it. Wish I could find at least one of my old Cowboy hats. Most disintegrated (straw) and my old felt…well it went through two floods on the ground in a nice protective hat box. Never felt like replacing it.

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