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Abide, You Dying Hammer Swingers

Abide, You Dying Hammer Swingers

I.

“This old hammer,
It killed John Henry.
But it won’t kill me,
Lawd,
It won’t kill me.”

No, no,
it won’t,
because I ain’t no
hammer swinger.
I got me
a fancy college,
de-gree,
ink raised on paper.
That is worth
10.8
million rupees,
200,000 American,
4 years
of life,
about 100
job re-jections,
innumerable
whiskey bottles,
the shit
in my skull,
and hot sweat
splattering
blades of grass.

II

Hot honest worker’s sweat
is worth its weight in gold,
every drop that pours out
strains a good man’s soul.

Strainin’ makes you stronger
and slowly bends your spine,
a man’s will may temper,
as his body does decline.

And after years of toil,
your reaping days are gone–
they’ll put you out to pasture,
in your hole beneath the lawn.

III.

“Watah boss”
in the office,
means the same
as on the chain.
The boss has
you under his
thumb.
The bank has you
stuck in a slum.
The pigs have you
under the gun.
But when you
reach
the hours
of the falling
sun,
when you’ve missed
another day,
another day
is set to come.
Career opportunities
for me they never
*knock*

“This old hammer,
It killed John Henry.
But it won’t kill me,
Lawd,
It won’t kill me.”

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