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Butch Weldy

 After I got religion and steadied down
They gave me a job in the canning works,
And every morning I had to fill
The tank in the yard with gasoline,
That fed the blow-fires in the sheds
To heat the soldering irons.
And I mounted a rickety ladder to do it, Carrying buckets full of the stuff.
One morning, as I stood there pouring, The air grew still and seemed to heave, And I shot up as the tank exploded, And down I came with both legs broken, And my eyes burned crisp as a couple of eggs.
For someone left a blow-fire going, And something sucked the flame in the tank.
The Circuit Judge said whoever did it Was a fellow-servant of mine, and so Old Rhodes' son didn't have to pay me.
And I sat on the witness stand as blind As Jack the Fiddler, saying over and over, "l didn't know him at all.

by Edgar Lee Masters
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