Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Dying Hobo

"I must catch her on the fly."

Beside a Western water tank,
one cold December day,
inside an empty boxcar
a dying hobo lay:
His partner stood beside him
with a low and bowed down head,
listening to the last words
that the dying hobo said:
"I'm going to a better land
where everything is bright.
Where handouts grow on bushes
and you can sleep out every night:
And you never have to work at all,
And never change your socks,
And little streams of whiskey
come trickling down the rocks,
Tell all the boys in Frisco
that my face they'll no longer view.
Tell them not to weep for me,
no tears in their eyes must lurk:
for I'm going to a better land
where they hate the word called work.
"Hark!" I hear her whistling,
I must catch her on the fly:
One more scoop of beer I'd like,
Once more before I die."
The hobo stopped, his head fell back,
he'd sung his last refrain.
His partner took his hat and shoes,
and caught the eastbound train.


— Overland Red


On this cold December morning let us remember those through lot of life do not have a warm place to sleep tonight. The Dying Hobo as it appears here was in a chapbook collection of hobo poetry by the hobo, Fish Bones simply entitled, Hobo Poetry.