They dig our ditches, mend our fences,
spend their days, their nights, their lives
building, making, stitching, sewing, mowing,
stowing, mixing, moving, painting, paving,
fixing, repairing, rebuilding, restoring.
They plant the seeds, pull the weeds,
trim the trees, harvest the fruit,
pack the meat, sift the wheat,
drive the trucks, hope for luck,
sweat and swear in the searing heat,
shiver and shovel in the aching cold.
They dig the coal, fuel the steam,
bear the brunt of others’ dreams,
raise their kids, polish their lids,
make clothes and cars they cannot afford,
clean the rooms where they cannot stay,
tend the courses they cannot play,
build toys and tools and trinkets.
They wash and wax and pay the taxes
that build roads, hire police, firefighters,
soldiers and millions of civil workers.
They furnish our food, weave our clothes,
make our cars, build our roads,
pay their bills and their tolls.
There are no medals and few parades
and yet all that we have, they have made.
we starve and freeze,
or else die in the smothering heat.
So here’s to you,
you who labor and are heavy laden,
may you find rest
for your bodies and your souls.
And, thank you for your service.