COWBOY POETRY: Restitution

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.

When I was young my father taught me how to show respect for someone else’s property.  I learned to stay in check.

I must have been about fourteen, my neighbor called me squirt.  And being young and stupid, I got my feelings hurt.  

Retaliation was my plan.  I flattened his truck tires.  I pulled each stem out with my new True Value Hardware pliers.

 I gazed down at my handy work, then realized what I’d done.  My conscience got the best of me.  I am my father’s son.  

So, I thought I’d face the music.  Told my dad about my deed.  He said, “I hope your bank account will cover what you need.”

The two of us drove over to our neighbor’s run-down truck.  His flattened tires were plumb worn out.  Thought, “What a lucky duck.”

I prayed our neighbor would admit his tires were torn to shreds.  ‘Cuz his rusty truck was ‘bout to get four brand new Good Year treads.  

My neighbor got new tires.  I emptied out my bank account.  But restitution was required, no matter the amount.  

I won’t forget that day.  Was it a blessing in disguise?  ‘Cuz nothing measures more than favor in my father’s eyes.  

So today I got to thinking, listening to the radio.  These rioters are causing havoc everywhere they go.  

Do they even wonder who will pay for damage they’ve incurred?  And maybe they weren’t blessed to have a father they deserved.  

I hope the angry protesters will come back to their sense.  There ain’t no way to recompense the terrible expense.  

I’m thankful my good father taught me life ain’t just for fun.  And to this day, he’ll always say, “Pay back for what you’ve done.”

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2 Comments

  • Sam Wise June 19, 2020 at 9:49 am Reply

    Imagine thinking that some property damage was a bigger deal than police murdering civilians

  • Gary Little June 21, 2020 at 8:34 am Reply

    Thank you,
    I loved that as it made me reflect on lesson of may father. I miss him.
    And I use something he taught me daily.

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