Family Labor of Love

With hammer, saw, and simple plans,
our daddy brought the skillful hands
to build a cabin in her pride
plus all the furniture inside.

Our mama had a role to fill
in hauling lumber up the hill
as she and Uncle Buddy rode
on back to anchor down the load.

Once, perched atop the pickup bed
while Daddy drove full-speed ahead,
the lumber slid and so did they
for downhill surfing all the way.

With many hands, all work is light.
When time arrived to clear the site
of lumber scraps and small debris,
they all pitched in; not so with me.

For Daddy said that none of us
must help unwillingly, and thus
I once invoked the right to shirk
my contribution to the work.

But seated on a log I squirmed
as, soon thereafter, conscience burned.
I heaved a sigh and pursed my lips,
then joined the crew to pick up chips.

1995 Mary Boren
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