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ODE TO THE CONCRETE CONTRACTOR (VIEW ON THE TOUGH DAYS IN THE CONCRETE GRIND)

Thank you, hard-working grinder...you, the concrete contractor! 

You make that internet-ordered package possible 

to be hauled by the semi-trailer tractor. 

You build the highways that make road trips possible – 

built, at least by you, without flaw . . . 

Paving cherished childhood memories of family vacations, 

high school friends having that last hurrah, 

and wider acceptance of reunion invitations. 

Thank you, concrete, brick and stone mason. 

You build the cathedrals and halls of learning, 

where weary souls seek peace from hardship’s pain, 

and where knowledge-seeking minds keep yearning. 

Within your concrete construction, may peace-giving insights be gained. 

You build the retaining walls with quality that holds 

front lawns, back yards and our houses on hills... 

In communities across the nation both warm and cold, 

in place – plumb and level – not tilting or spilled. 

Thank you, concrete guys and concrete gals. 

You crafted the concrete ramp at the street-corner curb. 

It allows the wheelchair-bound access to meet their pals. 

Yet another job where you, yet again, did your professional best. 

Thanks in part to you, their mobility, there, no one can disturb; 

Where your calloused hands have worked, concerns of all can rest. 

It was, of course, trade masons who with stone and lime cement 

built the pyramids that all over the world still stand strong. 

People, even still today, drop their jaws in amazement. 

Only masons can build so spectacularly – only masonry endures so long. 

So, you, using the concrete cutting saw and you the concrete core driller, 

you who tie rebar in concrete and who use concrete forms... 

the person in a ditch cutting pipe, or building concrete pillars: 

This thank you is to you with the dried-out, painful fingernail beds. 

Your body feels the day’s work everywhere, 

and today’s grind has caused an ache in your head. 

Thank you, concrete contractor - 

every quality concrete guy and masonry industry gal. 

Your bridges connect more than roads; they connect life. 

You’re building more than city skylines or waterway canals – 

building more than a career, a business or a few more gifts for the wife. 

What you’re building is a future more concrete for your whole family, 

built with passion for quality, your will and your daily grind; 

What you’re building is the one thing more solid than masonry. 

To describe that which you, the concrete contractor, builds in harsh weather outside . . . 

The expression for what you build is: an enduring concrete legacy. 

Thanks to you, determined grinder, “legacy” is the perfect word that comes to mind.