Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Dispatcher

(Note: This poem is purely fictitious.  Any resemblance to actual persons is an astounding coincidence.)

The Dispatcher
by Guy Smith  (1933)

As you drift along and hear the song
    Of wheels beneath your feet,
Did you ever think of the worried gink
    Who figures out the meets?
There's a man somewhere who on the air
    Directs where they will pass;
He's sitting alone with his pen and phone
    And a timeboard 'neath the glass.

Not young nor old but crabbed and cold,
    With hair fast turning gray,
He's watched the sheets and made the meet
    For many a troubled day.
His job is to know how fast they'll go
     And where they will be stopping,
To read the mind ahead and behind
     And know why time they're dropping.

He must explain why plans go lame,
    And why the speed was struck.
He will catch hell, but truth must tell
    He cannot pass the buck.
Day in, day out, he goes without
     His exercise and lunches.
He is forlorn and a gambler born,
    Who plays his many hunches.

This man don't care if train crews swear,
    Because they throw some switches.
He has grown tough doing his own stuff
    To keep them from the ditches.
But off the job with the rest of the mob
     He's one real lively player.
Then life's worthwhile, there's time to smile,
     For the crabby train delayer.

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