To be of use

The people I love the bestjump into work head firstwithout dallying in the shallowsand swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.They seem to become natives of that element,the black sleek heads of sealsbouncing like half submerged balls. I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,who do what has to be done, again and again.I want to be with people who submergein the task, who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along,who stand in the line and haul in their places,who are not parlor generals and field desertersbut move in a common rhythmwhen the food must come in or the fire be put out. The work of the world is common as mud.Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.But the thing worth doing well donehas a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.Greek amphoras for wine or oil,Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museumsbut you know they were made to be used.The pitcher cries for water to carryand a person for work that is real. ~ Marge Piercy ~

No Comments

  1. Jill says:

    This is a great poem. I love the last two lines especially. Thanks for posting it.

  2. Patrik says:

    Very nice! Can’t think of a better way to say it.

  3. Karen says:

    what a beautiful poem! thank you for posting it!