At our annual High Cotton Awards breakfast I have the honor of introducing the Southwest winner. Typically, I try to inject a note of whimsy into the remarks to remind folk that producing cotton isn’t always just hard work and frayed nerves. Sometimes, farmers laugh.
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This year I did something a little different. Calling it a poem stretches the definition of poetry beyond belief, but it does consist of lines that rhyme. Numerous attendees at the awards breakfast suggested that we publish the “poem.” Well, several said we should. Okay, two said they might read it. At any rate, here it is:
Crazy Cotton Folk
By Ron Smith
Cotton farmers are a little bit crazy. You can see it in their eyes;
When the market nears a dollar, it’s a look they can’t disguise.
It often starts in early spring, while they’re putting in the crop;
But they’re darn near certifiable when the market starts to drop.
And when the crop emerges and the stands are kinda thin,
You just as well just load ‘em up and call the loony bin.
They go a little nutty when the fields all turn to dust,
And all their early labors come out a total bust.
And they sure go crazy when a hail storm hits in fall;
And 15 minutes of icy rain ruins leaves, and bolls and all.
But when the fields are growing good, they scarce contain their mirth;
Cause a cotton crop that’s thrivin’ is the nicest sight on earth.
And when the harvest’s ready and the fields are seas of white;
Well, cotton folk get plumb giddy at such an awesome sight.
They must be touched a little bit to do this every season;
To go from high euphoria to madness beyond all reason.
But they do what’s in their nature, with neither slack nor sloth;
To turn out the finest fiber to make the finest cloth.
And that’s why given my druthers, when they’re flush or if they’re broke;
You can have your docs and lawyers; I’ll hang out with cotton folk.