COWBOY POETRY: Reuben and the Devil

Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell's life.  Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.

Reuben was a quiet man whose life was cut too short. He met up with the devil and the devil’s own cohort.

The devil and his helper said, “Welcome to your home.” The devil said, “My helper has been your lifelong gnome.”

Well Reuben said, “I didn’t think that I had gone awry.” The devil said, “Your heavenly scales were just a little shy.

You didn’t help the Widow Jones. She had six girls, you know. Her car was buried two feet deep, and no one plowed her snow.

You opened up your neighbor’s gate and let your cows get in. From heaven’s side, I’d have to say, that’s probably a sin.

When they passed the plate to you at church, you dropped in two lug nuts. I heard them make a clunking sound. That sure took lots of guts.”

Reuben said, “I’d really like a chance to give life one more shot.” The devil said, “You’re in my trap. You’re here, like it or not.”

But Reuben was a clever man. He said, “I’ll be your voice. You send me home, I’ll work on men and make you be their choice.”

The devil was a gambler and he knew that he could lose. But if Reuben brought more men to him, this would be a deal he’d choose.

Reuben was a quiet man. He lived a long, full life. He was generous to his neighbors and adored his newfound wife.

His funeral was the largest that anyone had seen. The Widow Jones told everyone how he kept her driveway clean.

His neighbor said that Reuben kept his gates and fences sound. Reub’s offerings were generous when the plate was passed around.

Well Reuben hadn’t kept his word. He said so with a grin. So is lying to the devil even slightly called a sin?

When Reuben reached the Pearly Gates, St. Peter said, “Well done! You beat the devil at his game! He gambled and you won!”

The devil had an evil smile. Yes, he gambled and he lost. But he vowed he would get even, no matter what the cost.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!