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Who’s Got a Job for the Panama Gang?

From The Birmingham Age Herald, August 16, 1913. By Berton Braley.

Here we are, gentlemen; here’s the whole gang of us,
    Pretty near through with the job we are on;
Size up our work—it will give you hang of us—
    South to Balboa and north to Colon.
Yes, the canal is our letter of reference;
    Look at Culebra and glance at Gatun;
What can we do for you—got any preference,
    Wireless to Saturn or bridge to the moon?

Don’t send us back to a life that is flat again,
    We who have shattered a continent’s spine;
Office work—Lord, but we couldn’t do that again!
    Haven’t you something that’s more in our line?
Got any river they say isn’t crossable?
    Got any mountains that can’t be cut through?
We specialize in the wholly impossible,
    Doing things “nobody ever could do!”

Take a good look at the whole husky crew of us,
    Engineers, doctors, and steam-shovel men;
Taken together you’ll find quite a few of us
    Soon to be ready for trouble again.
Bronzed by the tropical sun that is blistery,
    Chuckful of energy, vigor and tang,
Trained by a task that’s the biggest in history,
    Who has a job for the Panama gang?

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