in the waking hours
we answer the ancient call
and drive the hammer and drill the nail
and plunge the blade and pump the well
and lube the engine and spear the pig
and cleave the ham and wedge the shim
and wet the stone and slip the note
and suck the poison and bore the goat
and plow the field and pierce the snake
and split the log and thrust the stake
and pluck the bird and ram the bull
and grab the root and plug the hole
and brand the flesh and crack the yoke
and plow the field and slit the throat
and pound the meat and mount the head
and knead the dough and bury the dead
and pull the load and push the load
and pull the load and push the load
and pull and push and pull and push
the load the load the load
and work is what we call it
true, but incomplete

Briar DeHaven
Briar DeHaven is a poet and children’s book novelist living in Southern Appalachia.