Army surplus socks tucked into my long johns

Dreaming of an era that’s bygone

Never will I be the first to see the ocean waves and try to ride on

Or scale the cliffs jutting from some awesome valley with bare hands

No young dreamy eyed kid will read my book and say: there’s a real man,

His boots so truly worn

His beard so savagely long

His eyes so cold, yet deeply human

His hands so calloused

from Life.

My great great grandfather was a railroad man.

Up in Oregon.

Or so they say,

so I’m told.

Wrenches six feet long

they say.

And who am I?

He worked long hours

Making the way for the generations to come after him

Providing them with opportunities


the opportunity for me to stay up late in the dormitory of some liberal arts college wishing I could in fact just be him

Just be simple

Just be human

Just be tired

Truly tired

Not psychologically or existentially

Just plain working-man-arms-sore-belly-full-human-tired

And so

I’m sure I’ll just turn out to be some bum

living a simple life out of an old van


too book-learned to ever truly use my hands

too forlorn to ever work behind a desk pushing paper

And I think

I just might be ok with that.


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