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Cowboys Can’t Be Catholic

As I’ve acknowledged in previous blog posts, inspiration can arise from a variety of sources and produce a variety of results, as this week’s blog post illustrates. Though prompted by an actual incident and exposing a bit of truth, the remainder of this poem is fueled by me taking liberties with my writer’s imagination. In reality, I’m pretty confident that the Catholic Church doesn’t ban cowboys. But for this one moment of following inspiration, at least, the two identities just didn’t mix.

Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.

Cowboys Can’t Be Catholic

We were sittin’ in the audience, my sweetheart and me

At the Cowboy Music & Poetry Jamboree

Enjoyin’ song and rhyme and great wise-cracks

From comical ol’ cowhands, like Baxter Black

Bax had us in stitches, nearly caused us to pee

Then my wife suddenly turned and said to me

“I’m laughing so hard I’ve developed a tic

I’m sure that no cowboy can be Catholic”

Her comment saddled me with great surprise

I stared back at her with wide-open eyes

“What do you mean? Just what’s your vision?

That cowboys weren’t intended to practice religion?

“Okay, so a cowboy may never turn saint

But that doesn’t mean a Christian he ain’t

Think of all the stories we’ve heard today

Each one an example of the cowboy way

“Cowboys never lie—well, maybe a spec—

But that’s true of us all, so, what the heck?

But if you’re ever in need, if troubles abound

You’d surely be glad to have a cowboy around

“If a cowboy’s your pard, he’s there ’til the end

His word is his bond—a true loyal friend”

 My spouse now stared, her head at a tilt

“It’s simple,” she said, “No Catholic guilt

“Cowboys are shameless, it’s plain to see

Unlike––hmmm…well…at least not like me

Cowboys’ perspectives show little restraint

Their tales make it clear with the pictures they paint

“They take life as if comes and appear in no hurry

They tell it like it is and never seem to worry

They find humor in everything, no matter how raw

They’re always on top––win, lose, or draw”

I wanted to debate, to prove her theory wrong

So I pondered my wife’s statement but not for too long

I knew we were opposites, so no point to tarry

‘Cause I was born a Pisces and she born an Aries

Since my wife was raised Catholic and me Protestant

Our families, at first, bore some discontent

Yup, a Romeo and Juliet couple we’d be makin’

If in Northern Ireland our vows had been taken

But her devout faith never once bothered me

And she understood my religion roams free

My faith isn’t bound by a church’s four walls

The mountains and plains form my hallowed halls

Where I’ll never have to deal with passin’ the plate—

Like goin’ to a show where they charge at the gate

If I need to chat with God—to share my confession—

Just don’t believe he requires a fee for admission

I don’t need pews where sleepy heads nod

Including my own—“Sorry ‘bout that God”

My cathedral is The Rockies where I’m never bored

A more natural place to feel closer to the Lord

Just like a cowboy whose rugged life’s his religion

I began to appreciate my wife’s observation

Yep, s’pose her opinion will just have to stick

I guess a true cowboy can’t be Catholic

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