Happy Days

                Roosevelt’s my shepherd; I shall not want: 
                He maketh me to lie down on straw mattresses; 
                He leadeth me inside a mess hall; 
                He restoreth to me a job.
                                                                        — Lyman Husted
You send twenty-five dollars home out 
of thirty. The Jersey CCC here not about 
fire or dynamite injuries or drowned 
farmhands or drunks falling off freights. 
Your wife needs an operation on her eyes, 
your son just born, your father broke, singing 
at some bar, where brass eagles gleam 
that will never fly. Shovel, hoe, ax, root-
cutting machetes, every blister a sweet song 
to survive. This is how it is. This is the poem.
Note:  The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC ) was created by the Emergency 
Conservation Act, passed by Congress on March 31, 1933 and instituted by President 
Roosevelt  on April 5, 1933. Though meant to exist for only two years, the life of the 
CCC was consistently extended by Congress. The Corps was intended to relieve the acute 
and widespread unemployment in the United States (almost 14 million out of work) and 
to create a program directed at reviving the country’s natural resources that were in 
decline. The CCC was also heavily involved in many other forms of public works.
John Allman | Mudlark No. 37
Contents | 1942