By Diego C. from George Westinghouse College Prep
My father is a construction worker that was removing concrete during the winter time. He was talking to my mother about a stranger being in awe about all of the intense labor he had done by himself even though the work required two men. It was the stranger being impressed that sparked many different concepts about life for me, so I felt inclined to write about it. As I was writing the poem, I thought about the time I helped my father remove concrete at home for a client. I realized that, though it seems simple, removing concrete takes a large amount of patience and strength. I had always thought this task was simple, but I learned the hard way that there is nothing simple about labor. As I continued the writing, I thought about my father being the only man that not only went to work alone but also went to work to finish what he was set out to do. I connected to this idea of working alone because I myself was struggling academically at the time. I felt as though I was the only person who was constantly working alone with no support, so my father’s story gave me hope in someone noticing all of the hard work I have done in school. Waking up at three in the morning to complete homework is brutal but it is nothing compared to laboring all day. It was by the time I was ending the poem that I thought about my father as a person. He would wake up at three or four to go to work. He would spend hours laboring and did not complain. He works very hard and not many know what being a laborer is really like, but I noticed something odd about these obvious facts. Even though his life has been tough, I have never really seen my father sad. He is always talking to random people and is able to befriend anybody. He is always able to have a good time with those he is close to. I struggle with making, having, and keeping friends, so I have always admired that side of my father. The poem, I suppose, was written all because some guy gave my father a compliment, but for me it’s much more than that.