Shovels and hoes are not handy labor-saving devices in mid-July in this part of the world.

Shovels and hoes are not handy labor-saving devices in mid-July in this part of the world.

A crew’s working on campus forming up the right of way for a long stretch of sidewalk improvement. The sidewalk will improve life on campus once its finished, but who will remember those who lay the slab? Here’s a piece to commemorate the blue collar workmen like these and others who work hard, often for little gain.

Working dirt
since early mid-July morning…
now
mid-afternoon 92 degrees,
heat index 99 rising,
paltry breeze
rarely blessing
air oppressing,
still working dirt.

Rivulets
of slimy sweat
entrained with mud
glisten and stream
down
flexing biceps and bending forearms,
working dirt
with shovels and rakes.

Low tech work,
high tech world.
Lowly wages, highly sweat.
Life’s hard,
You know it’s hard,
Working dirt.

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