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You are all Atlas

Old hirsute wizened weathered troubled man
I see you.
Not just your face but the stories it tells
Through crooked grin
It’s in hallowed eyes
Begging to be remembered
History places too many in the background

This is for you, man
For the man who tasted sweat on his lips and knew
This was the taste of life
Who discovered that sweat and tears taste the same;
Sweat, tears and blood flavor the soil
Something palpable and human and ancient.
The man who carved history from the back of the earth
Hands calloused, marred like the ground
These are the hands of Man,
The marks of Man, the pride of Man,
Grizzled specimen of survival and struggle and selflessness
I will remember you

I will call you uncle, brother, cousin, friend
Hold your head high you
Appalachian champion, you
Southern gentlemen, you
Dust bowl denizen, you
Patroller of the Pacific Northwest
You are a history of perseverance and failure
And perseverance and success.
Building block of a
Solid sort

You are Whitman,
Your words bring earth to page to life
You are Sooner, you are Settler, you are epitome.
You are my Uncle, 30 years of days
in dark earth belly.
You are my father, putting
God and family before himself
You are me
And my father, and my grandfather,
And his father
You are us.
Thank you for carrying us
You carry us so well.

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