ponytail now gray,
enduring as the word,
Larry the legend,
eight hours in the mill,
then, on sweltering afternoons,
onto steep roofs,
hit the bar at nightfall,
sucked down a few beers,
did it all over again.
no trace of mellow, he queried,
“Still into that radical shit?
Don’t tell me you’re voting for Hillary.”
I’m voting against a billionaire
hustling motherfucker who’s spent a lifetime
screwing small contractors,
just like you, brother.
“But he’s not a career politician,
We need to shake things up in DC.”
Since, November 8,
I go to the gym. I take long walks.
I play with my grandchildren,
eat dinner with my wife,
chant “Water is Life” at peaceful rallies,
spend too much time on Facebook.
None of what I do is “radical shit.”
Your “shake up?”
It’s a SHAKEDOWN!
They’re laughing at all of us.
We’re all their contractors,
waiting on checks that won’t come.
Feature photo by Bill Burke.
Len Shindel began working at Bethlehem Steel’s Sparrows Point Plant in 1973, where he was a union activist and elected representative in local unions of the United Steelworkers, frequently publishing newsletters about issues confronting his co-workers. His nonfiction and poetry have been published in the “Other Voices” section of the Baltimore Evening Sun, The Pearl, The Mill Hunk Herald, Pig Iron, Labor Notes and other publications. After leaving Sparrows Point in 2002, Shindel, a father of three and grandfather of seven, began working as a communication specialist for an international union based in Washington, D.C. The International Labor Communications Association frequently rewarded his writing. He retired in 2016. Today he and his wife, Maxine, live in Garrett County where he enjoys writing, cross-country skiing, kayaking, hiking, fly-fishing and fighting for a more peaceful, sustainable and safe world for his grandchildren and their generation