Fall 2012

Volume 7, Issue 2



Inspired by a Photograph of Woody Guthrie at the Beach


The Patron Saint of the Blue Collar Worker
The Family Farmer
The Union Miner
The Wounded Soldier
The Orphaned Child
The Immigrant Dreamer
The Dust Bowl Migrant
The Oklahoma Exile
The Deported Fruit-picker
Is helping his children build a sandcastle on a perfect Coney Island Afternoon
He doesn’t seem to be worried about Joseph McCarthy
Or the widening gulf between the rich and the poor
Nor does he show any concern that the man in the White House has war on his mind
It’s nice to see him like this
His guitar nowhere in sight
His flannel shirts and denim jeans probably stuffed into a laundry bag
            Back at the house
His hands focused not on strumming his way into a revolution of the spirit
But on shaping a small, impermanent palace for his kids to enjoy
            For the rest of the afternoon
I like this Woody Guthrie the best, actually
Because where the other, more famous Woody was like an American John the Baptist
Storming into towns across America and putting the crooks and killers and false patriots
            On notice
This Woody reminds me that even prophets need their vacations
And that there is no political issue nearly as important as spending an hour in the sun
            With your kids
While they look out to the sea
Dreaming of dolphins and mermaids






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