Fridays With Dale: Lost Laborer

Dale Angel


Lost Laborer

By Dale Angel


The early morning work began…until no longer I could see, today is it walnuts, potatoes oranges or stripping olive trees?

Miles and miles of rows and rows…crops were picked by hand while other children went to school as a migrant worker, I labored as a man

Washington was for apples, Idaho was for peas, Arizona was for cotton

California lettuce, sometimes working fields overlooking the awe inspiring sea

At night traveling the highway my bed was earth or straw, always moving.

To Oregon for berries or hops, beans, filberts, hoeing mint, Hood River cherries

Up and down ladders or on my knees I crawled

Melons in Imperial Valley or cutting asparagus for farmers Japanese…drying

grapes between rows for raisins…nectarines…plums…peaches,   pickers for tomatoes and almonds there’s a serious need, taking refuge in childish daydreams

stopping now and then for water …only minutes of reprieve moving up the rows towards

sunset, fruit tramps a title of malice and disrespect which do I perceive?

Days, months, years were spent in labor camps with gypsies, living in the car on river banks or temporary tents

Moving through landscapes that needed no fences…while the world was at war in flames

In the fields orchards or vineyards a reign of peaceful innocence

I lost the little girl laborer who sang in harmony, danced in palaces, slept

In clean beds lived in a house with sheer white curtains…… in her wildest dreams…

Who saw her world as a garden as far as her eyes could see…with a rainbow of colors bouncing off the leaves

 … I’m looking for her…….I want her company



Dale Angel



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