The Plumber

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

He came to do plumbing work,
bringing an elderly man
with him.
If you have a job
in Indian country,
then you must support
an elderly person
or a relative.

Last year
the young carpenter
who came to do work
brought three elderly workers,
paid them out of his wages.

They spoke Dinè
to each other,
throughout the afternoon,
finished their work
and then left
for the long, winding road
toward home.
The plumber dropped
the old man at his home—
because this is
the “Indian way.”


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

13 responses to “The Plumber

  1. Anna Mark


  2. Would that that were the way for all of us!


  3. Caddo Veil

    I echo Anna Mark: Beautiful.

  4. There’s something deeply satisfying – perhaps I really mean moving – about this, Ethel.

  5. Much that has been lost can be regained. you offer an ever timely reminder.

  6. Respect for relatives & elderly, the “Indian way”, seems like a good way…

  7. An example to follow … such lyrical wisdom in ‘just’ telling the story, Ethel.

  8. That’s such a nice, unique poem!

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