Housewife

by Georgie Sicking

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Housewife

We went to the bank to get a loan to keep the ranch afloat.
Little banker had whiskers on his chin just like a billy goat.
He wrote “profession: rancher” on my husband’s pedigree,
asked a few more questions and then he looked at me.

He looked me up and down with kinda squinty eyes
and opened up his mouth and uttered a word that I despise: housewife

Now when I’m calvin’ heifers and haulin’ hay and doin’ other chores,
to call me “just a housewife” is enough to start a war.

I’ve got cows to move and fence to fix, gotta doctor that ol’ bull,
and that balky tractor it won’t start without a pull.

Now, the ranch work is important, so the house will have to wait.
I’ll cook supper for my husband because he’s workin’ late.

I’ve been a rancher’s daughter, I’ve been a rancher’s spouse,
But never was I ever married to a house.

© Georgie Sicking

GEORGIE SICKING recited at the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko and became a major voice and presence around the West. Born in 1921, she was reared on a ranch and by the age of sixteen was on the payroll of the Green Cattle Company in Seligman, Arizona, when women were scarcely seen—much less allowed to ride—with the cowboy crew. She worked ranches in Nevada and California and spent her last years in central Wyoming. She was rightfully proud to have been inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and to have been the recipient of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association’s 100,000 Miles on Horseback award. Sicking died in 2016.