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By Dan "Doc" Wilson


 “Mmm… boy! Thet shore ‘nuf hit the spot!”

The wrangler smacked his lips and sighed,

Then eased into the campfire’s glow,

With thoughts that left him mystified.    


He nudged the waddie by his side

To settle what was on his mind.

“Say whut’s the diff’rence, do yuh know,”  

‘Twixt cowboy brew and reg’lar kind?”


The waddie shrugged and then he saw

The cow-camp cook across the way

Among the morning pots and pans

A-rattling in the brand new day.


The cowboy passed the question on,

The coosie sure was bound to know.

  “Say, whut’s the diff’rence now,” he said,

‘Twixt cow camp brew and store-bought joe?


While bacon sizzled in the pan,

Its crisp aroma filled the air.

“There’s all the diff’rence in the world!”

The range cook stated with some flair.


He turned the flapjacks with a flick

And thought he’d have a little fun.

“We makes our coffee on the range

With extra care until she’s done.

The special beans we brings along

And secret makin’s in the pot,

Makes all the diff’rence in the brew

‘Twixt cowboy coffee and whut’s not.


Arbuckle’s beans are mighty fine

But coffee needs the cowboy touch

Before it gits thet certain way

With fortifyin’ taste an’ such.” 


While rapt, attentive cowboys stared

And took another sip or two,

The cook went on to tell about

The making of their fav’rite brew.


“It all begins with perfect beans,”

Began the cook with lofty air,

And first they’re warshed in cowboy socks

To clean the dust and cattle hair.


And then they’re ground the cowboy way

Beneath a boot-heel caked with mud

To mix the beans with earthy muck

Before we boils away the crud.


Cold water’s taken ‘way up stream

Far from the cattle wat’rin’ hole,

Then boiled on fire plenty hot,

Thet’s built from sun dried prairie coal.


So, once yuh has a cow chip blaze

Yuh warms the water in the pot,

Then adds the crushed up coffee beans

An’ boils ‘er ‘til she laughs a lot.   


Yuh waits a few more minutes then

For coffee no man can resist,

The cowboy filterin’ step comes next

And adds the final cowboy twist.


Yuh pours ‘er through a trail-worn sock

To filter out the coffee grounds,

Then pours ‘er in yer coffee cup

An’ sips ‘er up with sighin’ sounds.

The cowboys smiled ‘cuz now they knew

Why coffee made without the drip,

But made the good ol’ cowboy way,

Was sure ‘nuff good at every sip.


The coosie grinned and pointed at

The wrangler’s cup of steaming brew,

Said “See thet dark stuff floatin’ there?”

The waddie smirked as if he knew.


“Waal, ‘taint the grounds we filtered out

Makes real authentic cowboy taste,

It’s stuff thet’s even more unique

And never added to in haste.


We mixes in some cactus juice

And jest a pinch of rattler’s tail,

And mebbe sweat from off a hoss

Thet’s been out on a dusty trail.


And then to make real cowboy joe

Thet smells just right ‘twixt cup and lip,

We fin’ly adds a bit of cow…

Thet floatin’ thing’s an ol’ cow chip!”

© 2017 by Dan "Doc" Wilson

This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

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