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Gandy Dancer

by Joe David

Willie was a gandy dancer
Miles of steel ribbons
Rest on the sweat from his brow

The chant and the grunt placed the rail
Until it was as much a part of him
As the muscle and sinew it grew

Willie was a proud man
Able to work harder and longer
He made the hammer ring

The years were good to Willie
But times were changing
And machines made him obsolete

He spent his final days sitting on the porch
His muscles swelling no more
But the rhythmic calls were still heard
In the mind of Willie
who was once a mighty gandy dancer

Copyright 2006 by Joe David


Posted on 09/13/2009
Copyright © 2022 Joe David

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Joe Cramer on 09/15/09 at 12:39 AM

... well done!!! Welcome to Pathetic.....

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 09/15/09 at 09:15 PM

...chug chug chug, i see 'em comin' ...this is a punctuation mark of your work...i know but i don't know this willie, i like it that way...

Posted by Glenn Currier on 09/17/09 at 02:02 PM

I love this ode to the worker, this delightful and observation of the dignity and glory of those who created the great threads that made this country and still hold it together. I can see them, smell their labor, hear the "hammer ring" - this poem nails it!

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 09/18/09 at 06:10 PM

Joe, enjoyed this very much. Delighted. Thanks.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 09/26/09 at 04:30 PM

I had to come back for another read. You have managed to haunt me with this g.d. g.d. I can't get it out of my mind, it keeps ringing. Still love it.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 04/25/10 at 02:03 AM

I can hear their rhythmic singing/chanting as they work. One wonders at the machines we have created and what we have taken away. I enjoyed this. Thank you.

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