Days and nights and months and years
of sun and rain and hot and cold
Plains and fields and creeks and bridges-
Down into valleys and up the sides of mountains
Billy chewed Red Man while he
sang along with Ferlin Husky.
Ron was meticulous about maintenance
and never got the hang of the clutch.
The Smith brothers didn’t pay it off.
Benjamin swore he would quit whenever they stopped at the yard.
Larry told dirty jokes and kept a photo of his dead wife on the dash.
Jack sold the truck when the letter came from the draft board.
The ones now were different-
faster and lighter yet strong, and so quick.
Man they were quick, and quiet and easily handled.
Not too much personality to make things prickly, he chuckled.
It seemed naive to have taken so much pride,
to have wrapped so much of himself up in work
which now seemed so far away and of little note.
It had been honest, for the most part, but of what use?
The ones who made him were gone,
not just gone but gone out of business.
There were new makers and new ways of making.
Maybe it couldn’t be any different.
The others, the ones he remembered,
maybe they were what was important,
maybe they were the point.
Maybe there was no point, not for certain anyway.
He was still here though,
and there were those who took interest.
They would come visit sometimes
and listen to his stories again.