From the Bottom of the Ladder

For company, for policy, for rule and regulation,
for managers and presidents, and once a year vacations.

Hey! Listen!
You and I cannot be friends
for where your social antics start
is where my patience ends!
Yes, you were made my master
by the men for whom you slave,
and you think if you work faster
and make your men behave,
that you will one day be rewarded
by promotion up the ladder,
and the fools who did the work for you
will stay, they do not matter.

Oh yes, it’s very possible
and even what you need,
and you know with every rung you climb,
the more you’ll have to bleed.

For company, for policy, for rule and regulation,
for managers and presidents, and once a year vacations.

But remember this each time you kiss
the ass of your employer,
and he allows you to step further
form this common labor toilet,
that you should listen closely
for a thunder from below,
for it’s the laughter of this little man
who works down here, you know.

You wonder why I’m laughing?
All you climbing doesn’t matter.
I’m laughing ‘cause I’m watching you,
and it’s I that hold your ladder!

posted for
Don Arterburn
(aka D. A-Bone)
somewhere in the 1970s


Filed under Family, Perspective, Poetry

4 responses to “From the Bottom of the Ladder

  1. Love this poem. Don had Pam print it on a piece of wood and then seal it.
    I think I gave it to Danny not too long ago. I still like the little booklet he made describing everybody in the family. I still have mine and also have it scanned on computer. Brother Mike.

  2. Pat Tomnay

    Don wrote that? What a talent! I can’t believe it……………..It’s so true – without the guy on the bottom, there is no top


    • Hi Pat – yep – Don wrote this when he was in his early 20s, Probably working for some furniture store. He wrote a song as well, different lyrics, but the refrain remains. I’ll see if I can e-mail you a copy.

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