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Lessons of the Far West

Cattle lined up
Good and straight
(The maddest bulls
push forward,
Of course.)
A bell and a yell
Let the rigid stampede

30 headstrong head
And you with one prod
To get the mooing
Cud chewing
To eat enough
To become ground round.

Put 'em out
Into pasture.
Let 'em feel watched
In the open field
Let 'em jump
Your meager fence.
Go stray.
Find a cranny in a canyon
Where, maybe, a mad bull
Can make them his own personal
Or maybe they can grow back the horns
You keep cutting off
Or, maybe, lose their bells and wander forever

But you gotta watch the rest of the herd
Make sure they graze
The ones who feed them flowers
They're crazy, you know?
Grass and hay's the stuff.

You take what you got left
And now that you taught 'em
(Inside fences)
How to roam the infinite desert
You lock 'em down in steel stalls
And you see who ate the most
(Don't worry bout digestion
That takes care of itself.)
The time has come.
The brands burn your hands
But it's gotta be done

The ones who don't brand 'em
Drive you crazy
How do you know
Who ate the most two years ago?
The ones who raise the cattle
That milk cream out of themselves
What's the point?
Your 30 head
Are meat to feed
Tommorow's cowboys.

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