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
My great great grandfather was a railroad man.
Up in Oregon.
Or so they say,
so I’m told.
Wrenches six feet long
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
Not psychologically or existentially
Just plain working-man-arms-sore-belly-full-human-tired
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.