wheels right for work and taking me down long
furrows, straight and true. I want to belong
to the working world, have purpose, be needed.
At times I feel I have somehow seceded
from the nation of labor and worth. I seem
remedial, menial, or just mean.
Even to myself. But I know
I could steel myself to weather, push through
pain. I could take the roughest path, harrow
broad swaths hopeful as the road leading home.
I’ve always pulled my share of the load,
never been afraid of a little dirt,
mud, manure. Never been too hurt
to finish what I started. I know I could
do it all again, go on and on
‘til day’s end poured quick rivers of molten
color down each row. Once I was an ingot;
could shape myself to any work. What
I want now is just a job, an income so my wife
and kids can eat, so we can keep our lives
together. I long to be a tractor.
© by Paula Schulz.
Used with the author’s permission.