The people I love the best jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallow
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element.
The black sleek heads of seals bouncing
like half submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves an ox to a heavy cart.
Who pull like water buffalo with massive patience.
The strain and the mud and the muck move things forward.
To do what has to be done
again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge in the task.
Who go into the fields to harvest
to work in a row and pass the bags along.
Who are not parlor generals.
But move in a common rhythm
and the food must come in and the fire be put out.
The work of the world is as common as mud.
Botched it smears the hands and crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies
clean and evident.
Greek vases for wine and oil.
Hopi vases that held corn are put into museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and the person for work.
— Marge Piercy