Somewhere on the right-of-way,
There flickers one small flame.
A hobo hunkers near the blaze...
A man without a name.
Bearded, dirty; ragged clothes-
A face that’s drawn with strain..
Fourteen hundred miles from home
Just waiting for his train.
The wind is cold, and from the North
So damp, it feels like rain-
He has a chill, a wracking cough-
His eyes are dull with pain.
Sixty-two last March the first-
Too old to stand the strain...
Thinks, “If I make it home this time-
I’ll never leave again”.
Forty years of wandering-
Just memory remains.....
Of Bob, and Jack, and Joe, and Bill
And waiting for the trains.
Bob died in Milwaukee-
From a watchman’s blow-
And Jack? he fell beneath the wheels
The cold had made him slow.
Somebody told him Joe had froze-
Up in the Boston yards.
Time and tragedy it seems
Had taken all his pards.
Bill died of pneumonia-
Up on the Chesapeake-
He coughed and cried, and called his Ma
For mighty near a week..
He wants to see Magnolia trees-
Down on the Ponchatrain-
Another ‘bo out on the road-
He’s travelin’ Memory’s Lane.
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