From a Reader: Duke

Maggie Irwin | Douglas

An Arizona Highways reader named Lucy Ogletree recently sent us the following poem, along with this account:

"My mom, dad and my older brother and sister moved from Arizona in 1948 with their cattle and horses to Georgia. Mama hated leaving Arizona — she loved the land and the people. They worked at the Elkhorn Ranch on Sasabe Star Route, helping the Millers get the newly acquired ranch ready for dudes, and also raised cattle while Daddy attended the University of Arizona.

"When our horse, Duke (Daddy's top cowpony on the ranch and in Georgia, who turned out to be the best kid's horse ever), died, Mama wrote a poem about Duke, who traveled with them from Arizona. The poem is not only about the horse, but also about Arizona. I have always envisioned it in your magazine."

While Arizona Highways no longer publishes reader poems in the print magazine, we're happy to share this one here. Thanks so much, Lucy, for sharing it with us.


Duke
By Cynthia Curtis
Submitted by her daughter, Lucy Curtis Ogletree

Back to the mountains of the setting sun,
Back to where the deer and the javelina run,
Back to the cactus, the rocks, and the sand,
Back to the sunglow of the golden land ...

Home is the heart, where it has longed to be,
Home where a horse and a man can be free ...
Lord, here is Duke, we commend him to you,
His bearing is kingly, his spirit is too ...

Let him run, let him graze, 
If he's tired, let him tarry,
But most of all Lord,
Give him children to carry.

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Beautiful!

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