Purpose Built
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Purpose Built • Posted: Jan 15, 2020 10:18:08Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

“My father built that,”
     the old man said.
He pointed to a cinder block shed,
     a few lumbering old vehicles,
     snow clinging to his face,
     some beginning to melt
     and run down his cheeks.
“He carved out a good living
     for us four kids,
     my mom, God bless her,
     and his parents,
     back over there
     in that old house.”
“This town even named
     a street after him, Ott.”
“You can see the sign
     down the way.”

“My younger sis and I
     have kept it going,
     for a good many years now.
     But it’s near took the stuffin’s
     out o’ both of us.”
“Projects dried up ‘round here
     ‘bout the time Obama took over.”
“Yeah, I voted for Trump.
     Sis rooted for Palin.”
“All to no good, though.
     Had to let everyone go.”
“Be closing up shop here soon,
     selling everything we can.”
“Won’t sell the land, though.
     No way with that one.
     Cost us near a million dollars
     to clean up per regulation.”
“Dad spilled a good amount
     of diesel fuel over there.
     Seeped way down in.
     Dig down and you can
     still see it ooze”
“Credit Obama for that one.
     Damned regulations.”

“What is there to say?
     We build things.”
“We try to make things work,
     for ourselves,
     for our families,
     for our community.”
“Then things change.
     Somebody’s doing.
     Not our own.”
“Maybe if I could have,
     could have foreseen?
     But I didn’t.
     I trusted.
     I had faith.
     Lost just the same.”
“Maybe the lesson is:
     Don’t trust no one.
     No one, no time.
     Especially not
“Seems even the Lord Almighty’s
     got it in for us workin’ folk.
     Making everything
     so damned complicated,
     and hard.
     Things make no sense.”

The old man continued to stare
     at the land around him,
     his home,
     his pride,
     his Waterloo.
“We build things. We make things work.”
     He said that.
     “That’s what we do,”
What he’s missing now, I believe,
     is purpose,
     a new good healthy
     and worthy purpose.
He knows how to build.
     He knows how to
     make things work.
He will, eventually.
     Despite his age
     and his feelings,
     he will.
     I believe that.
     He will.

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014