Instillation

Instillation

Instillation
(TANSTAAFL)

Blue collar, with roots deeper than any walnut or oak.
I remember those black walnuts from Uncle Bill’s farm.
Shells as hard as the hammer to break them.
And bitter, but hard work can be that way. Even if
a vacation on his dairy farm was more work than play,
it still made great memories.
He wasn’t a man to shy away from work.

Neither was his brother, whose lessons carried me through life.
Even before I worked beside him on a loading dock,
there was work in the yard, digging a trench for a foundation.
Pulling the transmission out of one of my first cars and replacing it.
Building a barn when he finally bought his own piece of land.
The years I put in on the dock after he retired.
The many years after that driving a truck, making deliveries.
The lesson that got me through all of that was simple.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

 

This poem is my response to Day 6 of napowrimo.net, which asks us to use a quote from a favorite book as inspiration and as the title for a poem, and then to change the title of the poem. The term TANSTAAFL (“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”) was a theme in “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” by Robert Heinlein, (1966). The complete phrase was already in use by the early 1940s.

NaPoWriMo 2021

~ Day 6 ~