Cowboy pocketknife


I opened up my pocketknife and cut a piece of cheese. The blade was sharp enough to shave and sliced the cheese with ease.

My good wife asked me, “Have you ever washed your knife with soap?” I slightly hesitated, then I answered with a “Nope!”

And then she said, “I wonder what your knife’s been in today?” I had to think a minute, but as far as I could say,

“Well, Old Cyruss had a nasty sore that oozed a bit of pus. So, I sliced it with my pocketknife. Now there ain’t no need to fuss.

“Cuz I wiped the blade across my shirt between the spurts of goo. That sore had built up pressure, squirted out from here to you.

“I cut a month of cockleburs right off the mane and tail. Whoa, you better take a load off hon. You’re lookin’ mighty pale.

“The sliver that was festerin’ alongside my big toe, well I dug it with my pocketknife. There ain’t much left to show.

“And talk about my toe, I got a nasty case of gout. But still opened up my pocketknife and cleaned my toenails out.”

My Old Timer knife ain’t pretty. It has lost its shiny hew. I’ve sharpened it so many times the blade is half worn through.

I’d have to say in my lifetime ain’t found a better tool. And if you’ve never had a knife, well maybe you’re the fool.

My father gave me my first knife when I turned 8 years old. The finest gift I’d ever had, meant more to me than gold.

I couldn’t guess how many knives I’ve worn out since that time. Or restored an old and lost one found amidst the dirt and grime.

I never leave the house without my pocketknife at hand. To me it’s more than just a knife. No need to understand.

So, don’t you fret none ’bout my knife. I know you think it’s rank. I soaked it deep in alcohol. The brand your uncle drank.

And if you’re wonderin’ did I throw your uncle’s booze away? Well, I did one even better, chugged the last drop down today.


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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.



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