Poem of the Day

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Build a Road

How do you build, do you build a road? Build a road to last?

Step by step, you build a road, build a road so fast.

 

How long does it take to build a road? Six months for men like us.

Mr Cox to lead and a good square feed, it’s enough for men like us.

 

How many men to build a road? Thirty men like us.

We’re fit and strong, it won’t take long, we’ll work without a fuss.

 

Out in the bush in good clean air it’s grand to work at last.

I break the stones, I may crack my bones, but the road is moving fast.

 

And we’re the men who fell the trees, fence off the drop with rails

For William Cox, I blast the rocks, I beat the iron nails.

 

And we’re the ones who stir the pots, who fill the bellies up,

You work real well if you know the bell means good grub coming up.

 

You don’t look up, you don’t look down, you work and you never stop

And then one day you look round and say, ‘Hey men, we’re at the top’.

 

So why do we work to build the road? To build this road so fast?

Cos when we’ve done, we’ll tell our sons we built this road to last.

Yes, when we’re done, we’ll tell our sons we built this road to last.

© Wendy Blaxland

This poem is part of CROSSING, a play I wrote for the bicentenary of the crossing of the Blue Mountains by the Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson expedition (Gregory Blaxland is one of my forebears). It played to over 7,000 schoolchildren to great acclaim in 2013, and is returning this year in Term 3.

Find out more about booking in your school to see our talented actors bring history alive at www.blaxlandanddaughter.com. If you book by Thursday 27th March, the school will receive a signed copy of my poetic book The Princess and the Unicorn as well, in honour of International Poetry Day.

 

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