Pitching Grain Bundles onto a Bundle Wagon

96
Hay bundles by Ley Bouchard

-By Orv Alveshere-

WILD HORSES COULD KEEP THEM AWAY
They needed another harvest bundle pitcher
Although, they’d be very tired…they would feel richer.
That was a delib’rate understatement…at best;
A half-truth…but, payday was the financial test.
They could expect to be contin’ously dog-tired;
Also be sunburned, itchy, thirsty, & perspired.
It’s dawn to dusk, until their team, they would unhitch.
And the hundreds of grain bundles, they had to pitch. 

GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH A NEW TEAM
Were those two horses strangers, or were they yours?
Did you hear the owner recommend or endorse? 
That they were strong & could pull & would start & stop?
And that they got metal horseshoes, from the blacksmith shop?
Were they skittish near those monster threshing machines?
Were they as trained…& tough…as the U.S. Marines?
Would they be trouble-free, from the very first hitch;
Until there was only one bundle, left to pitch? 

TEAMS WEREN’T ALIKE, JUST SMELLED ALIKE
Each horse has a distinct personality it’s said;
Some are horse’s patoots… some are a dunderhead;
Others, strong & gentle & obviously, well-bred;
Many have a feel for the job & use their head. 
And by looking, there was no fool-proof way to tell;
Because, harness leather & sweat, share the same smell.
Seldom did any bundle pitcher strike it rich;
They endured the hard labor…until the last hitch. 

IT’S THE SUDDEN STOP, NOT THE FALL
One bundle pitcher was in the farthest wheat field;
Pitching onto an old hayrack, that was steel-wheeled.
He would try to finish & make it…the last trip; 
It turned out to be a day, he’d button his lip.
Precariously perched on top of a HIGH load; 
There was a dead-furrow, 90 degrees, in his road.
He toppled onto the hayrack tongue…doing the splits;
He couldn’t wait until, it was time to unhitch. 

CENTRIFUGAL FORCE & GRAVITY
The seemingly never-ending chore of pitching;
Grain sheaves, onto a high load…or when switching; 
To pitch… from the opposite side of the hayrack;
Off to the far end of the field, means, a long way back.
We’ll never know, how utterly helpless, he felt;
With the disappearance, of a half load of spelt. (triticum) 
It was useless to complain. He defined, ‘re-pitch’;
Yet, another lad, who, couldn’t wait to unhitch. 

6 YEAR OLD FOLLOWS BUNDLE WAGON
A lively, inquisitive, young lad of 6;
Had escaped the farmyard, & was up to his tricks;
Following the wagon…by walking a few feet behind;
He’s trying to stay out of sight & out of mind.
He scooped the white bubbles up, with his little hand;
Bemused & confused, yet, too young to understand.
As the bundle pitchers overheard they became a snitch;
They couldn’t contain themselves…til the last unhitch. 

PITCH, PITCH, PITCH
It was funnier than, some trite, ancient quotes;
Of sparrows, trying to “Extricate some used oats.” 
It was the mare’s urine but, he didn’t know;
They gave him a new nickname after he yelled, “SNOW!”
He’s perpetually embarrassed…a tale of woe;
The moniker took decades for him to outgrow.
FINALLY, we must mention…that chaff & beards did itch;
When, in bygone days, the Army of Pitchers’ did a ‘hitch. 

By Orv Alveshere

Orv’s Cowboy Poetry tells of the days of life on the ranch in Midwest America when horses were used for transportation, field work, Sunday-go-to-meetings, and more. Read cowboy poetry from our beloved Orv Alveshere who recalls the days and memories from his past growing up farming on the prairies of North Dakota. Revel in the glory days of the true cowboy. Take steps back into the history of rural farm life, when horses were the centerpiece of the ranch and instrumental in the survival of the families that built America.

More of Orv’s Cowboy Poetry may be found at:  http://theveonline.com/category/orvs-cowboy-poetry/