Hans Ostrom

Rookie - 142 Points (1954 / California)

A Hod-Carrier Reflects

Stone walls get the last word.
This wall, my father built. He’s dead.
It stands. He hefted each rock, troweled
mortar, composed High-Sierra granite,
quartz, diorite, mariposite, slate. Made
the thing true, good, pleasing, and useful.

I mixed and wheeled the gray “mud, ”
cleaned tools and rocks, etched
mortar lines, tacked into storms
of his cursing, laughed and sweated
with him. The ones who ordered up
the wall are gone, replaced by ones
who don’t know who the mason was.

The wall’s become a secret,
an encoded version of my father,
his work and way with stone. The wall
is obvious, obscure, plain, inscrutable.
No one cares I know who built it, nor
would I argue anyone should.
That’s the way it is with masonry,
which gives the last word to the wall.

Submitted: Friday, October 19, 2007
Edited: Monday, April 18, 2011

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Hod-Carrier Reflects by Hans Ostrom )

  • Rookie Heidi Haskell (2/19/2009 10:48:00 AM)

    A beautifully crafted bookend to Robert Frost's 'Mending Wall.'
    Love, love, love! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Yen Cress (10/19/2007 9:58:00 PM)

    Perhaps that's why we write. A wall may last for eons, its builder forgotten and unknown. But a well-written poem has a shot at immortality, and the poet may be revered. And so we write...and hope... (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Portrait Of A Prince, Denis Martindale
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  10. If, Rudyard Kipling
[Hata Bildir]