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Poems for the People   -  Poems by the People

About the Poem

Americans are lucky - they can immigrate within America. The country is so large that people can change cultures by moving from New England to say, Texas. But most of us have to change countries in order to immigrate. Whatever kind of immigration, it creates a challenge. Such a change offers opportunity, but you need to have a vision, and strive to achieve the accomplishment of that vision. This poem is about two different immigrants.

The Immigrants

The year was l889,
And the rail-gang paused to rest.
The sun was hot, the men were tired
As they laid rail-tracks to the West.

One of the gang wiped his sweating brow,
His name was Paddy Joe.
He had worked on the gang for twenty years
And the wear was beginning to show.

The railroad president was in his train,
He was out to inspect the rails.
And his train stopped behind Paddy's gang,
And he descended to welcoming hails.

The president paused and said a few words,
And he thanked the railroad crew.
Then his eyes caught the eyes of Paddy Joe,
And he winked, that's all he could do.

Then Paddy Joe said to his neighbor,
"That man up there could be me.
We both left Ireland on the very same boat,
And together we crossed the sea."

"We both started out as laborers,
And I took my pay and had fun.
But Michael there had a big vision,
He wanted a railroad to run."

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© 1999 Brian Quinn Please respect the rights of the author and Passions in Poetry. If you would like to use this poem on your own web page, please contact the Author. Thank you.

1 Visitor Comments

I think that all of us set dreams like this but don't really count on reaching them and I really like this poem because it sets an example for those people who have no hope.

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