Poem of the Fortnight: Think about Chris

This is my Thanksgiving poem, about the wonderful man who, with his son, did our recent remodeling work.

(I decided to use WordPress’ snow option for a little holiday spirit, since it’s 78 degrees in Austin and I’m trying to keep from turning on the AC.)

Think about Chris


Chris showing off recent landscaping work in the condo complex.

Each day is a labor of fixing toilets, laying tile,

installing lights and fans,

painting, planting—any task,

indoors or out,

he’s hired to do.


Thirty dollars an hour

seems like a lot

but there is constant worry

about not enough money.

Wife stays home with granddaughter

while pregnant daughter works,

sons move out and back again.


I think about Chris,

with his bad knees, no health insurance,

too much middle

from too many sodas, hot dogs, tacos,

as I lift the Thanksgiving turkey into the oven,

sweating through the day to feed my crowd,

and again as I roll over in bed the next day

thankful my hardest work is done for now.


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