The military needed cheap labor
to move office furniture
into the newly remodeled Pentagon,
so they had the grunts do the work.
My father made the 300-mile round-trip
for 5 weeks to get the job done. Sometimes he gave
rides to other enlisteds, charging a small fee
to those who needed a lift. My father,
who in 1969 would have done anything
for his wife and newborn daughter,
put desks together for generals and elite brass
in the sweltering summer heat. One day,
he said, the higher-ups will realize
that the world is put together by men like me.
I can see him plain as day:
slim build, slight muscles--
a catch, my mother would tell me.
He knew what it meant to put food on the table
No matter how he had to do it.
Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil