“Work” by Robert King

Robert W. King


The workmen over and above the fence
fit bricks, lift mortar, slap it accurately
in place. Guilty by sitting idle, I
imagine they envy my luxury
of doing nothing until I remember
the days I had my hands full of shovel,
the dragline plowing the ditch of a sewer
through a future subdivision and how
I pitied those who walked by our work
with no apparent occupation,
denied the pleasure of making something,
piece by piece—even if it would soon
be buried—they would depend upon.

from Rattle 29, Summer 2008


Robert W. King: “At 70, I find more past coming into the present in my poems and I love it—it’s like living twice. And poetry in general is the perfect place to find the past and present existing together. It was written. It’s being read now. Perfect.” (web)

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