My brown calloused hands stare back at me,
Each little groove caked with dirt,
Scratches filled with muck,
Blisters oozing their complaints,
after a grueling day of work.
They are the hands of a rancher,
the hands of someone who has spent hours,
Working in the sun, wind, and the rain.
Sun is double edged knife, scorching our backs and feeding our pasture,
Wind is the enemy, blowing away hope with the moisture and soil,
Rain is the rare blessing that replaces that hope – the hope of surviving.
The hands of a rancher tell a tale of long days of now knowing whether or not
We will survive another day.
Will the rain come?
Will the wind stop?
Will there be water for the cattle?
And yet, as I gaze into my calloused hands,
I know that a rancher has a legacy as no other;
A history of living with the land and its animals.
A rancher has a life of blazing sun rises, and gorgeous harvest moons.
Some would say that I am uneducated,
But can any college teach one how to tell when a mother cow is about to calve?
Can any university tell the chance of rain by the time of year?
I say no! I say that prejudices like these are like a noose around those who use them-
Ever tightening, ever shrinking, ever there.
For what is the world without ranchers?
I may be a girl, and I may not have smooth skin,
My hands are calloused true,
But the passion that courses through my veins is worth infinitely more –
A passion for living things, for hard work, and for true accomplishment.
Calloused hands are an accomplishment, and not anyone can achieve that.