Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day.


If you read the things I write,
you'll know that I love history.

I love to think about people of the past
and what they did to make sense of their lives.
I like to see how similar we are,
and to remember how the things I have
are because of what they did.

Today is Labor Day,
a holiday I've never really thought about before.

But picture those gritty, dirty factory workers,
beat down from laboring around the clock.

This was the land of promise,
and America wasn't delivering,
as it sometimes doesn't.

So they fought back,
with that ironclad strength
that rises up through weariness.


They formed unions
and went on strike,
and said,
"I will not stand for this."

And people listened.

A hundred years later,
I spent my childhood watching television,
not languishing in soot.

Once a year,
I get a day off just because of what they did.

And I will never live through
what they lived through,
because they bore the burden of that
for me.

But I can listen to their songs
and think about them singin 'em.

In the heart of the fight,
this kind of thing must have made them feel strong.

 

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