"The Burly Fading One"
by Robert Hayden
The burly fading one beside the engine,
holding a lantern in his hand,
is Uncle Jed--bullyboy
of wintered recollections now.
Coal miner, stevedore and railroad man,
oh how he brawls and loves,
a Bible over his headlong heart
and no liquor on his breath.
And when he dies, dies not in his own
well-mastered bed but in the waters
of the Johnstown flood, in wild attempt--
so sibling innuendoes all aver--
To save the jolly girl
his wife had mortally wished dead.