I’m proud of my people, proud to be one of them,

that great mass on society’s bottom rung.

Those who, with coaldust under their nails

in their eyes, in their lungs

claw at the earth’s entrails.

Their brothers,

cement in their hair

in their mouth, in their ears,

oil ingrained in their fingers,

on their face.

Sisters, glistening with sweat

midst the ceaseless noise of machines

that throw out shirts, shoes, toys, carpets

for other people.

Those with soil and sweat stuck to their skin

smelling of the earth, feeding the multitude,

grinding out their lives in a harsh pitiless system

weighted down

with a sack load of half-dead dreams,

sometimes brought to their knees

by a tidal wave of despair,

never defeated,

groping in the dark to find tomorrow,

keeping hope alive;

they amaze me.

Somehow, from somewhere

in this cold, cruel

unforgiving scheme of things

they find love for their children.

Not a teaspoonful, not a cupful,

but buckets full, to bathe them in,

to pour over them.

They seem to know

that one day this world will be ours

and to take care of it

we will need those who have been loved

ann arky’s home.




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