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Cowboy Choir
Patricia Wellingham-Jones


Stetson at his feet, replaced
by jaunty crimson Santa cap,
buzzard feather black in the band,
the old cowboy clangs his bell
in front of the bank.
Arm pumping up and down
he beams through gaps in his teeth,
points at the red kettle.
He wishes customers a happy holiday.
Over the brass tones of the bell
his rich baritone voice rises,
sings the first lines
of "Joy to the World."
Exiting the bank a rancher
trim in new jeans and leather vest
supplies the words in bass
when the Salvation Army man
sputters la la la.
Spattered with sawdust and manure
a ranch hand squeals his pickup
to a stop, jumps out, adds
his wavering tenor to the mix.
Inside three tellers roll eyes
and smile, slide their sopranos
with Christmas dollars
across the counter.


This poem first appeared in InDaily News, Adelaide, Australia (2012).
Used here with the author’s permission.


Patricia Wellingham-Jones is a former psychology researcher and writer/editor with poetry widely published in journals, anthologies and Internet magazines. Author of ten books, her work appeared most recently in The Widow's Handbook (Kent State University Press). Patricia has a special interest in healing writing and leads a cancer center writing group. She lives in Los Molinos, California.



Post New Comment:
Mary Lou Taylor:
What Christmas spirit this brings! Nothing like singing along with "Joy to the World".
Posted 12/17/2015 07:00 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful. This poem makes me feel good!
Posted 12/15/2015 08:31 PM
Janet Leahy:
Wonderful how the music travels in this poem from outside to inside, love the ending! Thanks Patricia
Posted 12/15/2015 11:16 AM
Ross Kightly:
Truest teamwork is always impromptu? Terrific poem, thanks to all.
Posted 12/15/2015 05:47 AM

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