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Roaming Free

We are originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and settled in central Texas thanks to the U.S. Army.  So we have made the trip up Interstate 35 a number of times. It takes us up through Oklahoma and south-central Kansas right through the heart of the Flint Hills. The beauty of the Flint Hills inspired me to write this poem, “Roaming Free”.

Oh, how I long for the wide open ranges,
   The way things were ‘way back when’.
I wish we’d never made so many changes
   trying to keep all our critters penned.

When I look out across the Flint Hills of Kansas,
   as far as the eye can see,
It looks like a masterpiece on a sheet of canvas
   with all the cattle roaming free.

There weren’t any roads or fences back then,
   no power lines crossing your view.
Just the grasses and hills, and the sound of the wind,
   and buffalo – a million or two!

But I realize that time rolls along,
   and progress mankind must make.
Still, my mind wanders back to an old trail song.
   Just to think of it makes my heart ache.

So the next time you travel across our land,
   try to imagine what it was like,
Before it fell in submission to progress’ hand,
   and before the Promontory Spike.

Go back in your mind as you travel your way,
   to the range as it used to be.
And remember the land as it was in that day,
   and be glad YOU’RE still roaming free.

Frank Knight