She worked as hard as most had ever seen,
and breakdowns in the fray were almost nil.
Ol' Sally was the wheel of the machine
that crushed the wheat and barley in the mill.
Though Jess, the owner, named her for his aunt,
a battle axe that wouldn't take his guff,
Ol' Sally, once the pride of all Vermont,
had kept rapport with those around its bluff.
For years Ol' Sally ground her powdered meal,
without complaint, outlasting market trends;
her bakeries had lost their great appeal,
as corporations brought about their ends.
A farmer rescued Sal from rot and mold,
preserved, her stories finally are told.
My muddled thoughts and dulled subconscious,
Still clinging to my wit and roots,
Must guide me through another borough
Of shady deals and business suits.
Restrained emotions, dulled impressions,
And crowds projecting cold malaise,
I saunter through the streets of habit,
This city in a numbing haze.
In dimness of the noontime treadmill,
What little sunlight cuts through fog,
Affects the creatures' minds and reason,
Prepares a saddened epilogue.
For each residing city dweller
Succumbs in time to murky air,
Without the will to search for brilliance,
Relenting to their deep despair.
Surprisingly I reach the outskirts,
My business done and time can start
To migrate to my next appointment,
Repairing soon my listless heart.
The tall gravestone, the one on the far left,
that old chap never saw the Grand Canyon,
never dipped his toe in the Pacific Ocean,
he supported his family every day of adulthood.
Just to the right, her, she saw the world,
Paris, Tel Aviv, Sydney, Barcelona, Rio,
spent her years in a truly jetset fashion,
dated but never married, never anyone's mom.
Just in front of those, a couple is buried
together, though they died two years apart,
she didn't finish her last thousand-piece jigsaw,
though it did keep her grief away, for a while.
Sights seen and unseen, tasks completed or not,
ways lived, means earned, goals met or forgotten,
friend of the battle-worn or conscientious objector,
these matter to no one a hundred years later.
If it weren't for my great-great-grandfather,
I wouldn't be here, or perhaps, I wouldn't be me,
but I never cared a wit about his dreams
and his day-to-day scrambles to attain them.
A hundred years from now, my own ancestors
will go about their own struggles and successes,
I can make reparations to leave them a legacy,
still, my days here and now will matter to no one.
In Dodger blue, my heroes played
as villains of the diamond made
sweet battles of each nasty pitch,
regardless of each player's niche,
despite the organ's serenade.
The minutes dragged before each trade
that brought new blood to our crusade,
they always loved to make the switch
to Dodger blue.
All those extra innings fade
as wins continued to parade.
The arching curves from baseball's stitch
revealed a batter's glaring hitch.
For all these years I've cheered and stayed
in Dodger blue.
Jack has published over 350 poems in his career, many accompanied by his own photography. He specializes in a view of the commonplace and Americana.