After Lloyd McKenna read his "If 2020 Was a Buckin' Horse" poem live on the radio with us, he said the response was so big, that he figured he better put together a poem about 2021. Especially since 2021 jumped right out of the gate seemingly as crazy as the last.


The cowboy poet from Lewistown now has his 2021 poem all saddled up. He read his poem about a colt named '21 LIVE on Montana Talks.

Check out our Montana Talks with Aaron Flint podcast for the full audio of Lloyd McKenna reading "Here Comes 21." Read it for yourself below.


Here Comes 21

As twenty-twenty raced across the pasture by the well,

Buckin' through the final gate and on down into Hell.

Down among the willows the  next January day.

A tiny colt was born and it was just the way,

He scambled to his feet and then began to nurse.

He represented hope, that could end an awful curse,

That befell our nation in the year of twenty-twenty.

Times got kinda tough in the land of milk and honey.

He filled up on milk, and then lay down to sleep.

Nestled down by mama, he trusted she would keep,

Him safe from any dangers a'lurkin' in the woods.

Varmints can be anywhere and up to nuthin' good.

His eyes are bright, bones are big, his legs are purty straight.

I think that when he's older he will be really great.

His little ears are listening. Swinging side to side.

Checking all the sounds out of nature as he tried,

To get some sleep as the creek murmured past.

Blackbirds in the willow trees, rabbits in the grass.

His coat is dark and glossy, I think he'll be a grey.

His mama and his daddy are colored that'a way.

Since he's the son of "Blackjack" and the color of a gun,

It was only fitting that we call him "Twenty- one".

He shows a lot of promise, but it'll take some time.

With gentle care and handling one day we will climb,

Aboard him with a saddle and see if he can dance,

The buckin' horse ballet if we give him half a chance.

For now he needs his mama and a little bit of rest.

He needs to be a colt, let our Maker do his best,

To teach him what's okay, what dangers can occur.

But if we raise him right he'll make the NFR for sure.

By Lloyd McKenna. 1/14/2021


Original Story from January 14, 2021: Lewistown's Cowboy Poet: "If 2020 Was a Buckin' Horse" |

A cowboy on a bucking bronco
Credit Michael Klenetsky/ Getty Images

If you're like me, you're lucky enough to be a member of one of the many great rural electric cooperatives here in Montana. (I'm a member of Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative) As a member, you get a copy of the Rural Montana magazine mailed to you each month.

There's a ton of great content in the January edition of the Rural Montana magazine. There's a profile on Winifred native Christine Heggem, who is now the chief of staff for Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT). There's a profile on one of the newest books by Montana historian Ken Robison. There's also a piece talking about a nano-nuclear power project.

But one of my favorite pieces in the latest edition was a poem by a Cowboy poet out of Lewistown, Montana, which is home to the annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering in August. Lloyd McKenna is also the president of the Judith Mountain Players in Lewistown.

McKenna wrote a poem about the year 2020, "If 2020 Was a Buckin' Horse." And it's a good one. So good that I wanted to read it on air. But I knew I couldn't do it justice. Thankfully Lloyd McKenna joined us on the radio and read the poem himself. You gotta hear it. Check out our "Montana Talks with Aaron Flint podcast" to listen.

You can also click here to read the poem in full for yourself, and to check out the rest of the great content in the latest Rural Montana magazine.


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