Let Me Clarify
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.
As August washes into September for another year, we shimmy along into the later first part of the second half of 2019, with all it has to offer. School has started in most places and a Labor Day weekend presents itself as the final holiday of the summer, or the first one of the Fall, or both. I prefer to think positive: Fall.
Even though my now grown children always started school in August, I never adjusted to that as anything but an egregious school requirement during the hot summer months. It’s wrong. I never liked school.
My childhood experience was for the madness of school to begin on Tuesday following Labor Day. I don’t hate any month or time of year, it’s just that on the one-to-twelve rating scale, August comes in 12th place for me. I also don’t ever know what to do with it, so I write about it.
I continue to flex my poesy (or is it prosy?) braincells and muscles each day.
August poem titles were:
2. Relax, Old Man
4. Impractical End
5. Cicada Call
6. Some Days
7. Seven Times
8. Give Me Time
9. Learning How
11. The Greeting
13. My Grief
14. Long Live Sadness
15. The Quacks
16. For Reality Pray
17. My Monster
18. Sabbat Lost
19. Social Sadness
20. The Horror of Love
21. I did It!
22. Big Bang Theory
23. Noted Brilliance
25. That Shit Sucks
26. End of the Trail
27. For a Little While Longer
28. The Hope Within Hopeless
29. Road Trip
30. Wrong Again!
Look both ways more than once.
Trust your senses and verify that things have not changed.
Mind the gaps lest you find yourself in difficult embarrassment.