Winter 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1999 |

A Sonnet for the Working Class

This is in praise of Uncle Frank, John Knoxand Johnny Wop, the boys of summers in college who gave me most of what goes for my knowledge of women and jazz. They taught me to watch the clock, to not push when I should pull, and what gives when you're giving all you've got, yet the foreman says you will have to give better and more. Three months each year I'd live my penance of their life—booze and cards, women, and in praise of my annual leave, a yearly fifth given with serious and fierce instructionsnot to kill it in one place, not to quit school and not to push when I needed pulling. How I loved them. I wish I'd known it.

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