Grandfather was a longshoreman

11983469006_92752f1b4f_o
and as he went along the shore he hummed,
Grandfather hummed, and not for feeling gay,
but as a signal that his work was well begun
that he had well accounted for another day.

The cranes along the waterfront, grotesques
with names he’d mastered in a foreign tongue,
were marvels that yet left him unimpressed;
were giants he walked fearlessly among.

The immigrant assurance in his breast
rode him to a new world, and made him brave.
He passed what he presumed was each new test
and strove until he landed in his grave.

 

 

Image: Loading Dock, Galveston Wharf, Imperial Sugar Company by Robert Yarnall Richie, from the Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection (Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library). This photograph has no known copyright restrictions.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Grandfather was a longshoreman

  1. Exquisite in both form and language. Subtle shading brings that man into high relief. Small gestures that mark motivation, reason, striving, becoming the essence of the American dream. Knowing, believing, made faith a fact. So deftly explored!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s