Rusty

by RD Armstrong

Back in ‘74
When I was just
Starting out in
Construction
I met an old guy
Who had been
Pretty much broken
Down by the trade
He was a character in
His fifties with
A hand-tooled belt
That said “Rusty” across
The back side
He was kinda boozy and
Rough around the edges
But he was willing to
Clean lumber – pulling nails etc
For practically nothing
So my boss Carl
Hired him
With a warning
“No drinking on the job”
Well try as he might
The old guy just
Couldn’t function
Without at least a
Long pull every
Couple of hours
So after about a week
He was gone

I hadn’t thought of him
Much until today when I
Was wondering what
I was gonna do to
Make ends meet
Now that I’m sixty
And I remembered
That belt with the word
Rusty across the back
And you know something

I finally get the joke

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