TOTE THAT BARGE

TOTE THAT BARGE

I’ve been a busboy, a waiter,
A salesman for road crews
A cook and a soda jerk.
The American market is
Not set up that well for
Kids who want to work.
Before I was twenty five
I’d had eighty different jobs
Some of them at the same time.
Some parents think their kids
Are a good source of income.
Others think that is a crime.

I suppose it’s one thing
If the kid picks his own job;
Does what he wants with money.
But robbing his stash
When he is out working
Is not even close to being funny.
And keeping a youngster
Both working and schooling
And no social or playtime is sad.
It robs him of childhood
And rips off all his ambition.
The child has to somehow turn bad.

Maybe it only trusting
That the kid learns not to do.
Maybe that dreams don’t come true.
Maybe the kid learns
His hard work and dedication
Only gets him blisters when he’s through.
That was all true of me;
I did what I was told and
I learned that joy and accomplishment
Earned no praise for the doing
Only produced, if I didn’t work hard
A tremendous amount of admonishment.

So, when I left home
I had no direction in mind;
I looked ahead to sixty more years
Of working and being robbed
By people I wanted to trust
And not even being capable of tears.
This may sound like a whine
Blaming and much worse
A griper that’s totally out of line.
But what it really means
Is your kids aren’t your slaves
To be put to work in some coal mine.

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