Old Man Brxb

A place for my poems

The Shearing Pen Chef

The Shearing Pen Chef

by J. Carl Brooksby – 2012

We wuz workin’ at the shearin’ pens
Back in the days of yore.
I was about eighteen years old,
And ol’ Cliff was around twenty four.
We was bunkin’ together in the sheep wagon,
An’ Cliff , bein’ the older man,
Took on the task of cookin’ our meals-
While I washed the pots an’ the pans.

Now you may think this an easy job,
But it takes on a different hue
When ya think of how a tired a man may be
When he still has the cookin’ to do.
Well, the first mornin’ we was up at four,
An’ Cliff fried up a dozen eggs.
“Six fer me an’ six fer you.
These ‘ll put strength in yer legs”.

That mornin’ was long an’ the work was hard.
At noon, Cliff headed fer the wagon.
To scramble us up a dozen eggs
Although his fanny wuz a draggin’
It wuz near sundown when we quit fer the day,
An’ ol’ Cliff didn’t shirk on his task.
He boiled us up a dozen eggs.
What better supper could ya ask?

Next mornin’, again the eggs wuz fried,
But I’d better not complain,
The code of the camp sez if ya do,
The cookin’ becomes yer domain.
Well, the shearin’ went on fer eight days more
An’ eggs, about twenty-four dozen.
Wuz eaten by me an’ ol’ Cliff,
(He wuz married to my cousin.)

Now you might think eatin’ jest eggs like that
Would shorten our fragile lives,
But I have now passed eighty nine,
And ol’ Cliff is ninety five.
The other ten men of the crew didn’t eat jest eggs,
And it is my sad duty to say,
You’ll never meet one of them guys on the street,
Becuz they have all passed away.

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