Hired Hand

You need some help
out to your place for anything?
What John? I sed
It’s a man come around
looking for work
here and there he don’t charge much
name Norman and he’s willing
to work for money

you cain’t get no good help
I hired this one college boy
to help me put sheetiron
on my barn roof
that didn’t work out
I told him a look
I’m gone splain this one time
and did what I wanted him to do
but ever time he walked by
that pile of sheetiron
he’d stand there combing his hair
in the reflection of it
trying to look purdy
all I had out there was me
and them ewes
I couldn’t take a chance on it
whatall might be on his mind
I had to work and the ewes
was arredy bred up
I let him go that day

Norman ain’t too smart
but he ain’t purdy
and don’t worry about it
him and a rooster
could stand there and stare
at a line you drawn
in the dirt with your foot
half the morning till you shook him
but if you tell him
what to do and check up on him
he’ll get it done
all of us working together
I imagine we can finish it
before winter comes
but he can come help out
over to your place too
I suspicion if you need help
but he ain’t much conversation
he just understands
whichever you tell him to do
you shouldn’t ask him
for anything more than that
that’s all you’re paying him for

:: David Lee, Day’s Work (1990)

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