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Small Joys
Terry Nash


Staring out the windshield, he’d daydream about times
When, as a boy, he’d work for his dad,
And remember a quiet and simpler life
When your paycheck was the rich life you led.

He’d lean on the fender of that old LA Case*
And reach over to steer with one hand,
While the heat of the motor cut the cool morning air
As the sun slowly climbed o’er the land.

He’d watch as a hawk circled high overhead
And imagine being up there
Lookin’ for mice the one-way’d** scare up
While he’d lazily float in the air.

Then sip cool water from a denim-wrapped jug
He’d filled at the windmill that day
And think about chicken Mom was fryin’ for dinner
When he’d walk home to eat at mid-day.

The heavy, rich odor of fresh-turned soil
Drifts back to him now and again
As his mind reviews pictures of small joys of livin’
When you cultivate life on the land.

From Four Aces and a Queen (Outskirts Press, 2021).
Used here with the author’s permission.


*A farm tractor popular in the 1950s
** A disc harrow that plows the soil 'one way', as opposed to a tandem disc that throws the soil one direction, then another, in the same pass



Terry Nash raises cattle in Western Colorado. His tales of the West are those not seen from the highway or rodeo bleachers. Terry lives the life he writes about and shares the details of that life in his poetry and songs, which have earned him International Western Music Association awards including the 2018 Male Poet of the year, 2018 Cowboy Poetry CD of the year, and a 2021 “Special Achievement” award. Learn more about him at



Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Good view of farm life.
Posted 01/20/2024 10:42 AM
Wow! Powerful.
Posted 01/18/2024 08:29 AM
Descriptive, expressive, appealing!
Posted 01/17/2024 11:22 PM
Leslie Hodge:
Posted 01/17/2024 04:22 PM
Lori Levy:
Great portrayal of that quiet, simple life.
Posted 01/17/2024 03:20 PM
Larry Schug:
Not a cowboy, bu this poem takes me back to working on a farm to raise my college tuition. My favorite job was dragging the fields before planting. I rode that old John Deere 'B' sunrise to set, singing all the day.
Posted 01/17/2024 01:50 PM
No truer words: When your paycheck was the rich life you led.
Posted 01/17/2024 01:20 PM
Joan Luther:
Like a lovely song
Posted 01/17/2024 12:22 PM
Wonderful! Thank you!
Posted 01/17/2024 09:13 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I learned to drive on an International Harvester tractor in a five-acre field we cultivate in grass hay and alfalfa to feed out milk cows, some weaner calves, and a few head of horses. Terry's poem brings back vivid memories of those days. Nicely done.
Posted 01/17/2024 08:31 AM

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