Man’s Most Important Labor – A Poem by Ryan Warren

Poetry Breakfast

Man’s Most Important Labor

“Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth
is the most important labor of man.”
+++++++++++++++++++++ — Daniel Webster

To which I thought
“Yes, this is likely so.”

until I went for coffee
watched the barista move

with such fluid grace, such swift
sure motion, such confidence

it reminded me of the fry cook
I used to watch from a counter stool

the efficient elegance with which he ruled his flattop
the singing sword of his metal spatula

not a single motion wasted as he molded
the hissing mound of hash browns into place

flipped pancakes without a passing thought
eased each egg such that never a yolk was broken

the way my uncle could work with wood
drive a nail with one sure blow

the roughnecks smoothly hoisting ringing iron
quickly clattering it into place around each thrusting pipe

pickers fleetly cascading unbruised…

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