I’ve never stood in a picket line
with a homemade sign clutched in my hand
fair treatment for all of us laborers.
I drive a daddy-bought Infinity,
and people who see me think I’m spoiled.
But I am the first generation of my family
since arriving in America
not to have worked long, hard hours in a plant or a mill
to barely support those that I love.
I’ve heard the stories of my family’s struggles,
of the cuts and bruises
gained while fighting for fairness,
for the union that was never knocked out;
and of the rally cries that kept them going.
I can picture my great-grandfather
standing before his troops,
their eyes on him alone,
awaiting his always ready
words of encouragement
that never failed to rouse
a march to triumph over their oppressors.
I always stand a bit taller
when I hear of a Union victory,
and I sing along with rally-call songs:
Which Side Are You On?
I will forever stand with the workers.
Because of my forefathers
I was born with a blue-collar mark
that will never be washed away.