[Editor: This poem by John O’Brien was published in The Parish of St Mel’s and Other Verses, 1954.]
He can stand the noisy racket of the workshop
And the thousand daily worries that beset,
He can shed the lot with ease with his oily dungarees,
Hang them up and hurry home and just forget.
That is if he has a decent home to go to,
And the wife and kids are with him and combine
To maintain a standard frequence, firing in the proper sequence,
With no one shorting circuit on the line.
If he’s rowing with his missus or the juniors,
Driving to disaster like a mug,
Though he may be on the way to become the boss some day,
He is somehow sort of missing on a plug.
He can meet his business setbacks and regard them
As no harder than the brush of feather foam:
They but pep up his aggression; but what loses him compression
Is the grinding in the outfit back at home.
John O’Brien. The Parish of St Mel’s and Other Verses, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1954
mug = fool
rowing = arguing
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