My final poem for Poetry Month. A tribute to people doing important, unacknowledged work.
Giants are the smallest men As measured by scales of Job. With poison scorn and fountain pens They slash and jab to rule the globe. In glass towers they strut and spit. The height a craved collusion. Fragility keeps them separate In fantastical delusion. For city smog mugs their glass Dying skin cells dust book spines Ink-stained downsizings fill the trash And stains streak their ample Calvin Kleins. The humble arrive and quietly hedge Their mops, dusters and garbage bins Around the small mighty who can't acknowledge That cleaners are our greatest ones.
I try to acknowledge the sanitizers at our grocery store and those who clean bathrooms at the library. We couldn’t function well without these “giants” and I try to acknowledge them.
By the way, you have what it takes to publish a poetry collection. No pressure of course, but you have what it takes, Arlene! Seriously!
Oh my goodness – a poetry collection is not something I ever considered. But who knows? It could be my next higher mountain? Thanks.
Excellent poem about a topic that is vital, but easily forgotten. Ditto what Marian said
Thank you so much. It was inspired by the memory of a woman who came to empty the trash in a hospital room. I thanked her, and she reacted with such surprise that I too was taken aback. She was so accustomed to being invisible to people. I told her, “You’re doing really important work,” and she just nodded and left. I don’t think she believed me. And that, I believe, is a flaw in our society.
Arlene, once again your ability to shape and craft language has resulted in another stellar piece.
“with poison scorn and fountain pens they slash and jab…” bravo!
(Loved the image at the end – the mighty rubber glove and sponge, our tried and true weapons against virulent intruders)
Isn’t it a great image? I got it from the stock images – but I wish I had created it myself. Thanks for the encouragement.