Man Digging in Queen St

Year: 1930

by Francis Kenna   

I often wonder what they see
The crowd of people in the street,
Who stand around a man at work,
With pick and shovel in the heat.

You see them gazing goggle-eyed,
And deeply interested mien,
As if the sight were something that
No one before had ever seen.

They do not miss a stroke he makes,
But stand and gape beside the way,
As if the digging up of earth
Were not as old as Adam's day.

They seem to be a decent lot,
It's hard to know what work they do,
But probably they write in books,
In offices, warehouses, too.

The workman lifts his busy pick,
And swings it high and drives it in,
And who and what the gazers are
It matters not to him a pin.

The sweat is on his face in beads,
His jaw is set, his look is grim,
Six kiddies, and a wife at home,
Depend upon his pick and him.

                                 Francis Kenna  (Brisbane Courier 27 December 1930, p6.)