Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Our Pote Poem by Robert William Service


A pote is sure a goofy guy;
He ain't got guts like you or I
To tell the score;
He ain't goy gumption 'nuff to know
The game of life's to get the dough,
Then get some more.
Take Brother Bill, he used to be
The big shot of the family,
The first at school;
But since about a year ago,
Through readin' Longfeller and Poe,
He's most a fool.

He mopes around with dimwit stare;
You might as well jest not be there,
The way he looks;
You'd think he shuns the human race,
The how he buries down his face
In highbrow books.
I've seen him stand for near an hour,
Jest starin' at a simple flower -
Sich waste o' time;
The scribblin' on an envelope . . .
Why, most of all his silly dope
Don't even rhyme.

Now Brother's Jim's an engineer,
And Brother Tim's a bank cashier,
While I keep store;
Yet Bill, the brightest of the flock,
Might be a lawyer or a doc,
And then some more.
But no, he moons and loafs about,
As if he tried to figger out
Why skies are blue;
Instead o' gittin' down to grips
Wi' life an' stackin' up the chips
Like me an' you.

* * * * * * * * * *

Well, since them final lines I wrote,
We're mournin' for our Brother Pote:
Bill crossed the sea
And solved his problem with the beat,
For now he lies in peace and rest
In Normandie.
He died the bravest of the brave,
And here I'm standin' by his grave
So far from home;
With just a wooden cross to tell
How in the blaze of battle hell
As gloriously there he fell -
Bill wrote his "pome".

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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