Thrown from a horse when I was nine or ten,
…..(I can’t remember when),
…..I cracked my head on rock,
was knocked unconscious, and I woke in shock.
Ever thereafter, Father, I feared the horse
you mastered with a minimum of force.
…..Instead I mastered dogs,
quartering them on hard, arduous slogs
…..through cattail, cane and rush,
urging them forth to fetch the prey they flush,
…..posting you in the sun
while dogs and boys worked pheasants to your gun.
I came to fear your anger in old age
…..which whiskey turned to rage.
Husbandry, horseman, it was your way of life.
…..Though I have wed no wife
and sired no sons, no daughters with red hair,
Murphy I sign, and sign with cross and prayer.