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Selected poetry from

An Anthology of Steam Railroad Poetry

Volume 2

(Canadian Edition)

Edited By
Michael Gee

Text 1987 - 2005 All Rights Reserved

Redistribution without permission from the Author is forbidden.

Used with permission

Ten Commandments for Headend Men

by Alan Palm

Verily, though they be horses' asses, thou
Shalt obey thy Conductor and thy Hogger.

Thou shalt, without complaint, go flagging
on short time, in snow up to thy buns.

Thou shalt run for every switch and not lose
thy switch key in the process.

Thou shalt shovel coal forward in the
tender, though it be 40 below zero.

Thou shalt take water for thy fireman in the rain
and the wind and thou SHALT NOT pee to windward.

Thou shalt, at every opportunity, suckhole
to the Fireman -- so we may double out.

Thou shalt haul coal for the caboose so thy Conductor
will not freezeth his ass, thereby interrupting his snoozing.

Thou shalt not eat the tailend man's pie
while he rideth the engine for thee.

Thou shalt not needle the hogger when
he stalleth her at 22 mile.

Thou shalt not utter disparaging remarks about
thy company when they giveth thee the paycheque.