They were not smart or rich. Some might write. Few to none finished school. In many ways they were all slaves.
The children, the men, and the women were trying to survive, to make it through the night.
No great athletes, not a genius among them. The company was the enemy. The boss.
I think of them on Labor Day. About my dad, the filthy coal miner, who swore I’d never work in the mines.
He was right.
When the mines shut down, he was lucky to find any job. He was a plumber’s helper. He mowed lawns and dug sewer ditches. Finally, as a nurse’s aide for the same pay I got as a teenage knucklehead, for my summer job, as a gardener’s assistant, he worked until it was finished.
Mom was a cleaner of footwear in a shoe factory. She had to take two early morning buses and often walked home. Her hands were always dirty and stained from cleaning factory shoes. Sucky work.
I never did piece work, nor had black lung, but at a young age I knew all about both.
Labor Day! I love it, but the more I think about it, and the more I learn about the labor movement, the more pissed off I get.
Wars and soldiers did not build this country. The rich damn sure didn’t. Cowboys (not the jerks in Dallas) and labor did. Workers built America.
“No gods, no masters.”
Look both ways and try to understand.
All workers and all labor around the world are brothers and sisters.
Mind the gaps and may we treat them well. Welcome to America.
Mistress Rochelle gave us a double dose of reality today as she announced her recovery from the dreaded COVID CRUD with one of her photos. Nothing can keep her down for long. But the lovely flowers and get-well balloon should inspire us to find the words to tell our own story.
Click on Rochelle’s bouquet for a lift to her page to scope out the rules and regs of the game.
Genre: Military Fiction
Title: Friendly Enemies
Word Count: 100
Timo and I were life-long enemies. We always argued and fought. Didn’t know why.
Fatefully, after graduation we ended up in the same platoon. One night on recon walking about ten feet behind the point man, Timo shoved me and whispered, “You’re too close. Spread out!”
Just as I put distance between us, the point man tripped a mine. I remember the flash and loud blast.
I awoke in the hospital to a bouquet of flowers: yellow carnations, white snapdragons, buttercups, purple and violet petunias, and orange lilies.
The card read, “Keep friends close, enemies closer. Get well soon. Timo.”
Look both ways for friends and enemies, discernment is key.
Mind the gaps, it may not be what you think.
What would you send your enemy? To know why I used those flowers, click here.
Your genius villainized by beeps and
meeps of fictional freaks, your
brilliant magical art humorized
as you plummet from cliffs into smoking puffs,
or jumping, head driving through sandstone,
without defending outcry.
Only signs express frustrated hunger
flavored with lesser onomatopoeic
wisecracks of disrespect
from actor’s voices for characters
who seldom said a word.
Look both ways at heroes and villains.
Mind the gaps in the absurdly complex gadgets you order from Amazon,
delivered via Acme distribution.
And give a coyote a break sometimes.
(I’ve read that more people are harmed by flying golf balls and champagne corks than by coyotes.)
To shed light on her creative corner, Mistress Rochelle, our lady of many talents, has cast upon us a home-grown photo of her own, to be transformed into no more than 100 gifted words with which we tell a fictioneer’s story for Friday, 20th of May, when we celebrate the 76th birthday of another lady of wonder and many gifts, Cher.
Genre: Autobiographical Fiction
Title: Secret Friends
Word Count: 100
Home alone at last. No one to say no.
To the dark, dark, dramatic cellar. The one dim light bulb cast eerie shadows over dark corners. The crypt like odor. What mysteries? What hidden fears and excitement?
A wet dirt floor crunched as I searched. I found him hiding behind the old coal furnace. He swore to protect me if I never told.
Now in my office I write about him. I sketch and paint him. Is he still there? Does he remember? Will I see him again? Will anyone believe me?
I was his friend; he was my protector.
Look both ways for what was then and what lives now in many memories,
be they fact or fiction.
Mind the gaps to be filled for the pleasure of the picture.
Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command.
I wrote my poem as a more respectful, loving plea rather than a command, but the words suit the prompt’s intent well, as far as I’m concerned. My inspiration was the Peter, Paul, and Mary song, Day Is Done.
Our Day Undone
Tell me why you are sad, my son.
Let me hold your hand and listen
as you speak of woe. Call me
to your side as we talk, and we walk.
Stay near me. Tell me your regrets,
intone unknowns we both fear.
Is it wise for us to ask why, sadness
so deep we must cry? Tell me,
my son. I’ll be right here
until my last day is done. Burden my
purpose of commitment. I ask no easement,
but for your silence to clear.
Allow me to share this distress and bother
just as I’ve carried you before. I rejoiced
in your life, now let me suffer with you
the worst of your troubles. Let us be
like some small support
as we lean upon each other
and lift this load
until the healing is done
and sadness has passed.
Look both ways mindful of love’s burden.
Let compassion fill the gaps,
allow time and love to ease the pain until the day is done.