A Woman, A Dog, And A Walnut Tree

A poem by Pat O'Cotter

This Land is the orphan kiddie
Of the group with their stars in the Flag,
And it's looked on Outside as an alien,
Where its treatment makes honest men gag.
It's treated the same as the harlot
Who barters her body for pelf
And carries it home to her master
And is told to look after herself.

Of course we're an orphan, adopted
When cast off by the great Russian Bear
And our lot's been the lot of an orphan
And we've had a "stage orphan's" care.
Our coal land was grabbed by our Uncle,
Our copper and fur by the Jews,
While another gang took all our salmon
And corrupted our natives with booze.

Sam gave us an Army Commission
And told it to build us a Trail,
But all that Sam gave was permission--
He didn't come thru with the kale.
Now a trail in Alaska costs money
And when Dick tries to get a bill thru
Some jackass from Maine reads the figures
And "moves the amount cut in two."

Our Uncle Sam owns all the cables,
And the prices he gets are a sin,
It costs more for a word to Seattle
Than it does from Salt Lake to Berlin.
Our coast line is rugged and broken,
A menace to each ship that sails,
But Sam has no money for coast lights,
They get the same treatment as trails.

And Alaska is some husky orphan,
We can reach from the Gulf to B.C.,
We could stand with one foot in Kansas
While the other was washed by the sea.
We're allowed only one voice in Congress,
And that one bereft of a vote,
And has to get some one's permission
Ere he loose a protest from his throat.

Sam gave us a group legislative,
But barred them the making of laws,
They could only memorialize Congress
And give it the reasons and cause.
The cry of the world is for Home Rule
Yet imported fools crowd our bench,
And some of their mining decisions
Send up to high Heaven their stench.

Sam made us quit gambling, that's all right,
But one thing that nobody knows
Is why he allowed a bone head from Georgia
Hang the crêpe on our own picture shows.
We're all hedged about with restrictions
And, Sam, won't you in us confide
Why some of your damphool ideas
Are not tried out on some one outside?

This Land's not the land of the weakling
And the men up here know what we need,
And we're sick of your bunch from the Outside
Who's only incentive is greed.
We've stood for Pinchot's conservation
And we've stood for your carpet-bag horde
Who have grabbed off the jobs in Alaska
As a sort of political reward.

But, Sam, take a tip from a Roughneck,
Go slow now and don't crowd your hand
Or some day you may find that the orphan
Has quit creeping and learned how to stand.
Don't make us the goat for the theories
Advanced by some government cog,
And don't use this land as a station
For trying things out on the dog.

We gaze o'er the line of the Yukon
As we're watching our neighbors at play
And we wonder why Our Uncle Sammy
Don't treat his Alaskans that way.
We look at their broad graded highways
And then at our own half blazed trails
And, Sam, it comes damned nigh to envy
When we think of their thrice a week mails.

They don't know the word conservation,
Their resources, all theirs to use,
And when they ask their Uncle to help them
Their Uncle don't often refuse.
Their Uncle has helped them develop,
Furnished work there for men who were broke,
And, Sam, when it comes to Coast Lights
They make ours look like a joke.

But in spite of it all, Sam, we love you,
We love every thread in the Flag,
We love every stream in Alaska,
We love every cliff, every crag.
We're not like the Woman or Dog, Sam,
And we're not like the Walnut Tree
Cause we want to be loved in return, Sam,
And, Sam, you are blind, or you'd see.


Old English Proverb:

"A Woman, a Dog, and a Walnut Tree
The more you beat them the better they'll be."

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