A Working Sonnet

By Fredric Hildebrand

two oxen in a yoke with a man

Leaning on my rake and cursing the leaves,
I marvel at a crew repairing a sidewalk.
Hammers ringing and concrete cracking
without a single word of complaint!
Instead, they joke and laugh together;
this quartet of men who play at work.
With zest they dig, mix and pour;
slapping backs after a job well done.

What’s wrong with our lives that work can’t fix?
The work of the world is common and necessary.
I admire those who harness ox to cart
and do what must be done again and again.
Work worth doing is worth doing well, 
even with hammer, rake, and shovel.

Fredric Hildebrand is a retired physician living in Neenah, WI. His recent poetry has appeared in Right Hand Pointing and The Raven Review. His first chapbook, A Glint of Light, will be published later this year by Finishing Line Press. When not writing or reading, he plays acoustic folk guitar and explores the Northwoods with his wife and two Labrador retrievers.

Photo by Varun Verma