The man stands silently by the railroad tracks....A slight Oklahoma breeze ruffles his thinning gray hair. The man is dressed in overalls, one strap hangs loosely over his chest.
He lifts his eyes to the West. The sinking sun shines on the rails of the MKT Railroad Company turning them to silver. But, there is no sign yet of the train the man is waiting for......He begins a slow walk around a weathered wooden cart. It is a large cart with a 12 foot bed....It is the tool of the man's life. A final inspection. Satisfied that all is in working order...the man...leans against the cart. A little rest before the work that is coming.
Time passes......And then....the man hears a whistle. The sound is low at first....but slowly it gets louder. All at once...the man sees it. The freight train rounding a bend...its engine is blowing blue and black smoke from its chimney. The train draws closer with an explosion of noise. Finally, it slows to a stop with a wet and white and hot steam streaming from its sides.
The man swings into action!....He grabs the handle of the cart and drags it to the cars behind the engine.....Their doors slide open. The workers inside see the man and call out...."Hello, John. How are you today?" The man jumps aboard the cart and begins unloading boxes and packages onto the scarred bed of the old cart. Some of the boxes are small. Some are big. Their destinations scratched onto their dirty cardboard, some of it torn in travel. Later, the man will lift them aboard a truck...and deliver them to places all over the little Oklahoma town where he lives.
At last, all the unloading is done. The cart is full. The packages and boxes piled high. The men aboard the train call out their goodbyes to the man as they slowly slide the doors shut.
Suddenly, the silence of the night is shattered by the renewed sound of the Engine's whistle. The train slowly begins to move. Its wheels slide past the man. One by one the cars slip by...and...in a minute the train is gone...The man is alone again.
He moves to the front of the cart and picks up its handle. He beings to pull. His muscles tighten....His shoulders begin to ache...The cart starts to move ponderously....as the man...pulls and pulls....The wheels of the cart roll forward as....the man...pulls and pants...and puffs....and...sweats!
I watch from behind as the man points the cart toward the warehouse....
The creaking sound of the wheels fade into the distance....
i continue to watch the cart and...the man...slowly vanish into the night...
Another day is done for the Man.