After working 60 hours again for what reason
The author that created this work
The best job I had was moving a stone
from one side of the road to the other.
This required a permit which required
a bribe. The bribe took all my salary.
Yet because I hadn’t finished the job
I had no salary, and to pay the bribe
I took a job moving the stone
the other way. Because the official
wanted his bribe, he gave me a permit
for the second job. When I pointed out
that the work would be best completed
if I did nothing, he complimented
my brain and wrote a letter
to my employer suggesting promotion
on stationery bearing the wings
of a raptor spread in flight
over a mountain smaller than the bird.
My boss, fearing my intelligence,
paid me to sleep on the sofa
and take lunch with the official
who required a bribe to keep anything
from being done. When I told my parents,
they wrote my brother to come home
from university to be slapped
on the back of the head. Dutifully,
he arrived and bowed to receive
his instruction, at which point
sense entered his body and he asked
what I could do by way of a job.
I pointed out there were stones
everywhere trying not to move,
all it took was a little gumption
to be the man who didn’t move them.
It was harder to explain the intricacies
of not obtaining a permit to not
do this. Just yesterday he got up
at dawn and shaved, as if the lack
of hair on his face has anything
to do with the appearance of food
on an empty table.
While this poem may not be a long one, "After working 60 hours again for what reason" definitely packs a punch in its lines. The story of a man trying to make money by moving stones, and in the process becoming more and more intelligent is definitely one you won't forget anytime soon. The poem reflects on the past, when slavery was still common in the U.S. Some of the powerful lines from this poem include, but are not limited too; "When I pointed out that the work would be best completed if I did nothing, he complimented my brain and wrote a letter to my employer suggesting promotion." and; "The best job I had was moving a stone from one side of the road to the other". All of these lines suggest that the time was at least 1960s or further back, as slavery was still common in that time.
In my own words, what I believe is happening in this poem is that the main character is working to make a living, or is a slave He is moves stones for a living, and is not making any money doing it, as the bribe is taking all of his salary, so in order to try and get money, he tries getting a second job from his official, which is his master, to move the stone the other way. He agrees, and when the main guy supposedly outsmarts the official, he gets promoted, and starts to become more and more intelligent, which his boss is now starting to fear
Overall, this poem has a very deep meaning to it that will keep bringing amazement to readers for decades to come.