David Massengill

Rider on an Orphan Train

David Massengill
David Massengill


Once I rode an orphan train,
And my brother did the same.
They split us up in Missouri.
James was five and I was three.

He got taken by some pair,
But for me they did not care.
We were brave and did not cry
When they made us say goodbye.

That was the last I saw of him
Before some family took me in,
But I swore I'd run away
And find my brother James some day.

I went back when I was grown
To see how old the Children's Home (sic),
And I asked for to see my file
Of when I was an orphan child.

It's sad, they say, there's been a flood.
File washed away in Missouri mud.
Sometimes life is a stone wall.
You either climb or else you fall.

In every time on every street,
All the faces that I meet,
And I wonder could one be
My brother James come back to me?

Though I don't know where he's gone,
I have searched my whole life long.
Now I roam from town to town
But there's no orphan lost-and-found.

Sometimes I dream a pleasant sight:
My brother James and I unite.
Remembering our last goodbye,
No longer brave, we start to cry.

I hope he lives a life of ease,
All his days a soft warm breeze.
May he sit upon a throne,
And may he never sleep alone.

(Repeat first verse.)