Monday, January 24, 2011

The Last Great Cowboy


The Last Great Cowboy
In Memory of my Grandpa 
(1932-2010)
 By Brei Wilson

Solid. 
A sturdy, dependable presence.
That’s how I think of you.
Bear-hugging arms,
Sloppy, wet kisses,
Rough whiskers against my soft cheek,
And always a smile on your face
When you see me.
Like it’s just for me – that smile.
With dirt under your fingernails,
Sawdust on your boots,
And a Western in your hands,
You are a present day cowboy.
A hero –
My hero.

Sometimes I think that no one else
Sees me
But you.

They see awkward.
They see uptight.
They see a chubby girl
With braces and a perm
No matter how old I get
Or how long I’ve kept the weight off.
To them, I am still that awkward girl,
Who is a part of the background
Because she lacks their exuberance.
To them, I am like wallpaper.
A family decoration.

But you see me.
And to you, I’m much more than
wallpaper.

You offer me praise
To overpower the criticism.
You give hugs
Instead of cold shoulders.
You see my success
And not always my shortcomings.
You see me as beautiful,
Even when I’m not.

Sometimes I feel invisible.
Sometimes I feel overlooked.
Sometimes I give up and get lost in the noise.
Sometimes I stay away because it’s too much.
Sometimes I try too hard to prove
That I am more than just decoration.
But at all times I feel loved by you.

You can’t always hear me,
But I know that you see me.

Thank you,
For being
Solid, sturdy, and dependable.
A working man.
A realist.
A giver of unconditional love.
Thank you for
Bone-crunching bear hugs
And big juicy kisses
And for letting me sit in your lap
With my head on your shoulder.
Thank you for giving me confidence
And for believing in me
When you were the only one,
Because I didn’t even believe in myself.

Thank you for seeing me
And letting me know that you love
What you see.

And I want you to know that
I see you.

We may not live in the
Wild West of your novels.
But with your tough, calloused hands,
Gentle in my own and with my heart,
And your fighting spirit,
To me, you will always be
The Last Great Cowboy.

And long after you ride off into the sunset,
I will love you.

3 comments:

Ericka said...

Good gravy, how come you haven't posted stuff before?! Also, is everything you write going to make me cry?!

Kari said...

What a wonderful poem and tribute to your Grandfather! He sure must be proud of the woman that you have become!
I have always admired you! When most little girls would love to play barbies, you would want to write your own story. When I would want to go to the mall, you would want to go to the bookstore to find a good book!
When you become an award winning novelist, I will be proud, but never surprised! You never cease to amaze me! You are a talented, unique, successful beautiful woman! How you could only feel like a family decoration or invisible is beyond me?! You are an inspiration and anything but invisible, dear. You are amazing! :D

BreiW said...

Wow - I have such wonderful friends and family. Thanks for your support, ladies! Kari - do you remember our radio stations? LOL Jacinda and I used to write scripts for our Barbies, too. I have always been a "word nerd"!