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Connecting Youth To The Outdoors

Poem | Not a Second Thought

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Not a Second Thought
By Charly Mijares

I started out as a rabbit,
Fearful and small.
Running from predators
Pain, Pain, Pain.

They liked to torment,
For they were huge.
Either a bear, puma, or coyote;
All were hungry for pain.

The most common words:
Brown, Wetback, Short.
The older the predator,
The harsher the word.

I never fought back,
For what could a rabbit do?
Because all I felt was
Pain, Pain, Pain.

One day, I saw some boots,
(Two old Justin Boots)
I gathered my wits
And slipped them on.

The boots were the best,
Nobody messed with me;
For who tangles with a rabbit
That wears cowboy boots?

Over time, I became a coyote.
I had friends,
Humor,
Outrageous fun.

I scavenged for food,
As skinny as a twig
But I still possessed hope
As fat as a tree.

But someone who wears boots
Works all day;
Everyday I wore the boots,
I worked hard, too.

Thorns as long as nails,
Absolutely no stopping.
“Dig a hole, drop the trunk in, bury the trunk,”
The only thoughts in my head.

Mesquite trunks,
Thorny weeds.
All exposed
Harsh labor.

Blisters,
Calluses,
Ripped flesh,
All over my scrawny body.

All day long,
I scurry through fields.
The scorching sun and sweat
Burns my wounds.

Bloody paws,
Ripped boots;
Keep hoeing on,
Just a thousand acres more.

My boots were getting old;
The soles worn to strips,
Mule ears long gone,
Dirt filled my boots.

Both of my packs
Work as hard as me.
Some even harder
But all we feel is pain.

The sun burns my eyes
My tongue hangs loose
My paws are scarred
Pain, Pain, Pain.

The puma’s blood-rich laughter
Made me taste blood.
The iron metal taste,
Stopped me from howling.

I knew that my boots proved,
The life of a working man.
It was time to speak up again
Or never at all.

One day, I realized that even though
I was proud of working,
I didn’t want to work in
The fields my whole life.

I found a pair of Tony Lama Boots
They gave me the courage and knowledge
To walk out of the field
To show the world the man that I became…

Today, I’m almost there
I’m proving the pumas wrong
Three years is all that determines
If I accomplish that goal and go beyond.

.

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