Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell’s life.
Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.
Old Henrietta Johnson finally passed at Comfort Lane. Her husband, Jacob, said
he’d spread her ashes from his plane.
Jacob made his promise to spread out on Henry’s Lake. He asked me if I’d ride
along to keep him wide awake.
Jacob learned to fly a plane way back in World War II. And now at ninety years of
age, still cruising through the blue.
He said, “No need to worry. I’m as healthy as a horse.” I wondered, was he
talking ‘bout an overaged plow horse?
So, there you have it one old man and one plum stupid fool. A pair of
knuckleheads who prob’ly share the same gene pool.
Jacob pushed down on the throttle. You could hear the engine roar. We were
hopping down the runway. Would the widow-maker soar?
The wheels were lifting from the ground. Now fighting for the sky. The engine
started sputtering. Did I really want to die?
Jacob tried to put my mind at ease. He said, “Don’t worry son. I swear we’ll fly
this plane if not, we’ll die to get it done.”
Jacob said, “I think we’re close to where we’ll make our drop. Just slide your
window back then pour the ashes out the top.”
I was nervous as a skunk. It weren’t the time to lose your head. What I did next
would only be what some would call, “Pure dread!”
I slid the window back. I felt the wind from head to toe. Then I opened up the jar
and Jacob promptly hollered, “No!”
When all at once his Henrietta’s dust came flying out. The cockpit blew with
ashes. I’d messed up, there was no doubt.
My eyes and nose were filled with dust. My mouth had met its fate. ‘Cuz I think I
spit a chunk or maybe accidentally ate.
I tossed the doggone urn and heard it bounce back off the wing. Then I took a
gaze around and there was ash on everything.
I dared a look at Jacob and his eyes were open wide. I guess I’d done my job. It
was a most exciting ride.
For three whole days my nose was blowing Henrietta’s dust. And I swear I heard
her laugh each time I coughed a chunk of crust.