Bawling calves and hanging dust
That gets in ears and forms a crust
Around the nostrils and the lips;
The contest has commenced
As carefully the nylon dips
To heels for dragging to the fire.
Take your time since slow is fast
And we won’t quit until the last
Has tag and brand and vaccination
That will start them on a path
To feed a growing nation
The nutritious beef that they desire.
Across the dry and dusty Plains.
A land of sparse, infrequent rains,
Neighbors from across the land
Gather in branding pens
To lend a helping hand
Once each year sometime in the spring.
There are smiles and jokes
Among these ranching folks
As they work the long and dusty day
In heat and wind
With a late meal for pay
And hearts full of this simple thing.