Friday, December 16, 2016

Millennials at Work and War - poem

Lawrence Hall

Millennials at Work and War

Scorn not the snowflake who stands watch for us

Now thrown into the existential struggle
Surrendering their youth and taking up life
They muster in the fields and factories
And in their elders’ undeclared, shadowy wars
Uniformed in an unappreciated sense
Of duty and dignity while scorned by those
Who take their ease upon the couches of sloth
And fling cheap mockery at millennials
Who take up tools and work and love of life
Sometimes to die in deserts still unmapped
While generals dismiss their casualties as light
Despised as snowflakes by keyboard commandos
Who never got closer to any war
Than a John Wayne ketchup-bloody movie.
Some work long double shifts through university
In a sawmill, shop, or fast foodery
Only to be dismissed as slacker layabouts,
But expected to trust those who condemn them
For not being the greatest generation
As defined by those who never served at all
And while being criticized they will grab
A quick cup of coffee for the night shift
Staffing the hospitals and police patrols
That keep their sneering critics alive and safe
They drive the trucks, they man the ships, they work
They drill for oil, these useless millennials
While idlers lounge long in the coffee shops
And YooToob computered jokes about them
Millennials have no time for coloring books
Or comfort animals or revolution
For they are weary with study and work
The best of them make no demands, but, sure
A little respect, hard-earned, would be nice
If only the scripted singer-songwriters
Would pack up the tired old stereotypes
And see millennials as they truly are
But darkness falls – they must go back to work
On the eleven-seven, the graveyard shift
They do not burn draft cards or Medicare cards
Instead through work they illuminate this world
And build it up with continued sacrifice

Scorn not the snowflake who stands watch for us

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