“Blind Tom” Meets “Dog”
“I’m tired of pulling this load every day.
I’m tired of being a horse.
I’m happy to meet you, I would say.
But my horsey voice is too coarse.”
“I gotcha, Mr. Horse. I’m so done being a dog.
I’m hungry all the time. Mealtime is a slog.
For just one day, I’d like to play.
“Fetch” sounds so good! I wait for that day.
“You’re a dog. I’m a horse.
We’ve both got four legs, of course.
But our fates are very different.
Our purposes, diverse.
Being a horse or a dog—
I wonder what is worse?”
“You’re Blind Tom, you fool. At least you have a name.
I don’t. I’m nameless. ‘Hey Dog,’ they exclaim.
My masters are many. My admirers are few.
The Railroad needs you but I’m as useless as a barren ewe.”
“Your man’s best friend! That’s never been my role.
You have a place at man’s side—that makes you whole.
I’m one step removed. A worker at best.
Sometimes I’m transportation. But the railroad is a test.
It’s over. I’m toast. I’m glue. The die is cast.
They won’t need horses. Those days are past.”
“Listen, Blind Tom. You’re a legend in your time.
You’re needed. You’re a fixture. And a worker on the line.
Your energy, your drive, your will to succeed
Are admirable, wonderful. You’re a great steed indeed.”
“Thanks, Dog. I hear you. I thank you for your trust.
I hope I live to see the end before I bite the dust.
This Railroad may be the death of me. One way or another.
But I will always think of you as a friend and as a brother.”
NOTE: Blind Tom was a real horse who pulled flatcars for construction crews on the Transcontinental Railroad