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The Section Man

by Edna Jacques

We passed him there, knee-deep in snow,
Standing to watch the train go by,
A lonely man in overalls,
Outlined against the snowy sky.
Along by Field, where peak and height
Make ghostly shadows in the night.

His face was bitten by the cold,
His mittened hands were stiff and hard
Yet there he stood as staunch and true
As any soldier standing guard,
Keeping his trackage swept and bare
That we might pass in safety there.

Oh, unsung heroes of the land,
The lowly knight of mawl and spade,
His home a lonely section-house,
His trust a curving mile of grade.
Seen through the dusk, a tired wraith
Knee-deep in snow...he still keeps faith.

Source: Canadian Pacific Railway, Factors in Railway and Steamship Operation.