Wash the dust and grime,
traces of a life of labor,
mining, farming, laying track,
tell me what you see then,
when you wash the dust and grime,
from my hands, from my face.
Straighten my bent, stooped back,
bent in a life of labor,
hauling coal, harvesting, toting rail,
let me look you in the eye,
when you straighten my bent, stooped back,
from a life of labor.
Open and loosen gnarled, misshapen hands,
grasping, clutching, in all weather,
pick, hoe, shovel, sledge, or hammer,