George Murdock

Sysyphus (An Ode To A Working Man) - Poem by George Murdock

The sun lent its fire upon him
as he wound the tape in a rapid motion
Taking the stub of a pencil from his red ear
which trumped the rim of a ball cap
he scratched the marks on a dog eared card
damp with sweat from his breast pocket
Day by day with his dusty pipe
hanging unlit and clenched in his teeth
he paused to wonder leaning on the fender
of his aging truck
how many more days neath the sun
will it take until the till be full
the debtors sated
the children flown from the nest?
then can he lie down
in a green valley and take
a breath of satisfaction

I visited his grave last week
I stooped on the green coifed carpet
and read his marker
Staff seargeant WWII, father, grandfather, husband,
provider, mender,
I thought about his selfless toil
which brought the goodness to our lives
I thought of him storming beaches
surviving three campaigns
working in the sun
pushing tirelessly with his back
to the rock

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 8, 2009

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