When every pencil meant a sacrifice
his parents boarded him in town
slaving to free him from the stony fields
the meager acreage that bore them down.
The blushed with pride when, at his graduation,
they watched him picking up the slender scroll,
his passport from the years of brutal toil
and lonely patience in a barren hole.
When he went in the Bank their cups run over.
They marvelled how me wore a milk-white shirt
workdays and jeans on Saturdays. He was saved
from their thistle-strewn farm and its red dirt.
And he said nothing. Hard and serious
like a young bear inside his teller's cage,
his axe strewn hands upon the paper bills
aching with empty strength and throttled rage.
By Alden Nolan