Disc A-2.  High Pole Gate
© Annie Wilson 2014                     

Album note:  The high pole gate plays a critical role in moving cattle,
fence design, and just keeping your bearings way out in the hills. Its
classic framing image seems to say:  you’re in the West now.  


As the riders head on out at dawn to gather up the steers
One voice among the others speaks up so they can hear:
“We’ll gather up the corners bunch em on the ridge and wait
Then we’ll take em cross the high ground out thru that high pole

We start to get the bunches gathered, soon we’ve got a herd
We’re moving cross the ridgetop slowly – not to make a stir
We ease ‘em towards the high poles and we hope they’ll slip on through
Then the lead steer passes through it and the others follow too

Yes, the high pole gate’s a landmark  in the endless western sky  
It’s a symbol of the rangeland  on the treeless hills up high
When you’re ridin’ in the pastures  & you think you’ve lost yer way
You’ll see that handsome silhouette  and find your high pole gate

Sometimes it’s just a signpost for a fancy ranch’s name          
But the engineering cowboy knows the reason for high gates:
The gate’s top wire connects the fence where the gate is opened wide
So he-won’t have to work so hard and brace up both the sides   

The meadowlarks and kingbirds love to perch atop its wire
And the high pole gate can frame that sunset full of orange fire
So-if I get to cowboy heaven  and I stand in line and wait
I just bet I’ll see St. Peter underneath a high pole gate
Photos by Annie Wilson.
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