"Thoroughman's Home On The Range" 
 by Charles M. Russell

 Flowers For Annie

They sat upon the meadow grass
and watched the dawn break through,
while soakin' up the glistenin' beads
of Rocky Mountain dew.
Annie loved this field of flowers-
and therefore, so did he
for any place that Annie went,
that's where he'd like to be.

She'd bring the picnic fixins
and Casey'd bring the beer-
but if the truth were ever told...
the thing that brought him here
was not the field of wild flowers
that Annie thought so dear,
for dearer far to Casey
was just holdin' Annie near.

Casey made a wreath of flowers
for Annie's auburn hair.
She said that when she married him
that's what she'd like to wear.
She wanted flowers- lots of flowers-
for their wedding day...
for the church and for her hair
and for her bride's bouquet.

They talked about the kids they'd have,
the life that they would share-
and Casey placed the wreath of flowers
on Annie's auburn hair.
The gypsy blossoms cast their spell
enchanting him for hours;
and Casey vowed she'd have her wish.
He'd fill the church with flowers.

* * * * * *
The church was filled with blossoms
that the folks from town had brought.
He'd told them Annie wanted flowers-
and flowers is what she got.
The church was filled with lilacs
that were everywhere in bloom.
Sweet, oh sweet the perfume was
that filled the candled room.
A tin can full of dandelions
was brought by sister Sue.
She thought that "they wuz purty"
and that Annie'd like 'em too.
There were tulips from O'Banion's yard,
and blooms from apple trees,
daffodils and other flowers
with unknown names from Lees.

* * * * * *
Flowers- the church was loaded
with flowers everywhere-
 yet, there were in all those blooms,
no flowers for Annie's hair.
So with his wedding 5 hours off,
Casey headed out.
He headed straight for Annie's field.
How well he knew the route.


God blessed this place with vibrant strokes
and Annie loved it so.
She loved to see that gypsy crowd
 a' puttin' on their show.
The hours spent here in Annie's arms-
he never would forget them.
If happier a pair there were,
for sure, he'd never met them.

So absorbed in dreaming,
he didn't hear the sound
of hoofs a' pawing on the earth,
then racing o'er the ground.
O'Banion's bull! He'd crashed the fence!
About this bull they said
he'd gored a man down Cody way
and left him nearly dead.

The bull caught Casey in the field-
and Casey had no gun-
and little time for prayin'-
and no safe place t' run.
The bull caught Casey in its  horns
and tossed him in the air;
and if poor Casey said one,
God didn't grant his prayer.

* * * * * *
The church was filled with neighbors
 and best wishes left unsaid,
for Casey wasn't married.
They buried him instead.
He died before they found him-
all bloody, on the ground;
a lying in a scarlet pool
with flowers all around.

      Back home again with Annie....
In the arms again of Annie....
Somewhere in the heavens
Casey's dreaming dreams of Annie.
In time the sun worked magic.
Flowers graced the cowboy's bed,
nurtured by the kindly earth
and tears that Annie shed.

Bette Wolf Duncan
Copyright 2005  All Rights Reserved.



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