Thursday, January 26, 2017

For the Ages

The stone thudded into place. Drops of sweat marked the dusty surface; his face was grit-streaked, an even exchange.

Pausing too long would earn a rebuke, so he pretended to study the arrangement, pushing the stone to see if it rocked. Soon enough came the rough voice, "Keep it up, son. Dinner in an hour or so." That meant two, possibly three, and more after the small and swiftly-eaten meal. At least by then the sun would be lower.

Trudging back to the rockpile he felt a hand on his shoulder. Without turning he waited, expecting a clout for his slowness. Instead, "I know it's hard work. But this wall will be here long after we're gone."

He walked on, silent in thought. The wall may be here, but after you've gone, so will I. And I'll never look back to know whether it stands or falls.

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