by John Kendall Hawkins
Early morning, eggs and bacon sizzle;
the tea kettle moans. Pickers contemplate
dark clouds, our laughs roll like thunder. Drizzle
and sunshine vie: the apples watch and wait.
Some of these men have picked peaches, cut cane,
driven taxies, grown ganja, mined bauxite --
dream days flowing by, sun and rain,
minds' eyes on loved ones, never losing sight.
Now, we haul ladders, climb toward the sun
through apples, picking fancy, filling crates
in lines that reach to the far horizon,
and get paid at week's end at piecemeal rates.
Always, at labor's end, in sore repose,
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