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Life Arts    H4'ed 11/11/18

Honor to the men and women in the orange vests who build and resurface our roads

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It's amazing, so smooth.
Amazing I say, how they get the level right.
First one lane
and then the other
so you can't even see the overlap in the middle
after they paint those perfect yellow lines.
Such skill,
such control,
operating huge machines the size of dinosaurs,
standing in stinking clouds of hot fumes,
armed with shovels and rakes.
And they do it safely
with their signs, STOP and SLOW,
in perfect coordination,
almost as if it's all choreographed.
But they aren't dancers, these people,
they are steady.
Sometimes all they do is stand in the same place for hours.
Sometimes they nod,
always sticking to their instructions
in whatever kind of weather
Spirit dishes out.
Compressing the asphalt just fractions of inches
below manhole covers,
feathering little aprons of asphalt
at the entrances of our driveways. . .
That is how they resurface our roads,
so we can drive to the store
or to our jobs
or pick our kids up.
Honor to these hard-working souls.
I was going to get self-righteous and say,
If they can do this work,
Working together,
Making those machines
Turn out perfect roads,
Why can't they . . .
But I'm not going to be that petty.
The importance of what they are doing
is not symbolic or metaphorical.
It's like a miracle. No,
I think it is a miracle.

(Article changed on November 11, 2018 at 18:11)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of five nonfiction books, three collections of poetry, "Children to the Mountain", "The Last recurrent Dream" (Two Plum Press), "Conversations with Poetry (coauthored with Tom Cowan), and (more...)

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