This poem was written in April '06. Here's the original. And I can't get the lines to break correctly. (How do you tab in Blogger?)
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 five weeks to get the job done.
Sometimes he gave rides to other enlisteds,
and charged 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 oppressive summer heat, the Summer of Love,
wiping his sweaty face in the mirror
of a bathroom marked “colored only”
in segregated Virginia.
One day, he said,
the higher-ups will realize
the world is put together by men like me.