The Seat Beside The Fire


Been reading some really awesome Christmas story poems that cowboys had written from back at the turn of the century…..I decided to try my own hand at one tonight and attempt to get myself in the spirit of this holiday season….I hope you guys like it. And I hope you all have a truly blessed Christmas with your own families this year. PT

The Seat Beside The Fire

It was Christmas in the line camp
We hadn’t seen too much for snow
When a norther blew quite sudden
Kind of storm that just won’t let go

A neighbor came and brought us
To his camp for Christmas cheer
Big old fire charred baked potatoes
Steak from freshly butchered steer

In a corner by an old wood stove
Was a thick carved rocking chair
With a quilt that smelled of perfume
Like a woman had just been there

By the chair were sugar cookies
Stacked in an old gold faded tin
With one big old blue silk ribbon
Same kind that 4H kids still win

I was just a greenhorn cowboy
So I asked him about that chair
And if I could taste one cookie
There was plenty left to share

The man dried off a teardrop
As he gently moved the quilt
And I felt a twinge of sadness
With one big old side of guilt

He said this is my first Christmas
Without my sweet wife Mary near
So last night I baked these cookies
And I brought her chair in here

We sang old time Christmas carols
As we watched thick falling snow
Then that night air got plumb heavy
And we knew that we should go

We rode out on Christmas morning
Just to feed cows cakes and hay
For some reason made a detour
Where we’d been just yesterday

Returned the way we came from
Past a meadow towards the trees
Then saw the place in light of day
Took us both down to our knees

Cabin roof fell down in shambles
That whole place was caving in
But enough left to still make out
It’s where last night we had been

And beside it on a grassy hill
Two rocks stood side by side
And the first said Joseph on it
The second named his bride

Dates carved a single year apart
On that day both lives would stay
For you see they each read 25th
Both passed over Christmas day

It has been near 50 winters now
And my line camp days are done
Each year when Christmas comes
I still remember just that one

Old log cabin in the mountains
Neath the raging storm of snow
To share our Christmas miracle
With Mary’s husband Joe

PT Muldoon ©2017


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