The Brick Throwers

The Prompt: Reviving Bricks—You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

The Brick Throwers

They were five in a chain from truck to rooftop,
each throwing the piles of adobe bricks
in stacks of four, from hand to hand
up from the bottom of the truckload
now nearly emptied.
Two of them waved me on
when I tried to park near,
my trunk full of heavy wall sculptures
to deliver to a gallery just half a block away.

And when I tried to park farther along the block,
again and again, they waved me away
until I was a block away and safe, I guess,
from straying bricks or errant cars that swerved
too far to the right to avoid the bricks or truck that held them.
They were a cheerful lot, and when I passed,
walking towards the gallery
carrying one sculpture after another,
they waved, and on my final trip back to the car,
again, the man second in the chain
who stood balanced on the highest level of the brick pyramid
that remained within the truckbed,
seemed to intuit my purpose, waving from me to them
as I drew my camera from my purse.
They all posed for minutes, miming their labor
as I tried to get them to actually throw, as before,
those piles of bricks, hoping to catch them
flying through the air between two pairs of hands.

Finally understanding, they threw and threw,
asking me for a prompt to help me catch that flight
I feared I’d never catch.



Minutes later, I turned to leave
and they, cheering and smiling in their fame,
turned back to that labor which is an art in Mexico:
giving bricks wings before mortaring them
into a permanency that holds them rigid for lifetimes
until they crumble back into that soil that was their nativity.

This poem should be a metaphor for something
and probably is.
Some future day, when I am moldering in my grave
like some lesser Ozymandius,
some graduate student or scholar of mediocre
Twenty-First-Century poetry might publish a treatise
revealing it.
And they will dig this website from the rubble
of the Internet and find
I wrote it as a daily prompt
and if such records still exist,
find how I hired those men to build a monument
from that crumbling manse of brick
that was my prompt on the Daily Post
and tell how they spent their lifetimes restoring it
and how their children and their children’s children
have benefited from catcalls
and instructions to move on down the line
and the clicking of a camera lens
and from one who follows blindly
where each prompt leads her.


10 thoughts on “The Brick Throwers

  1. Allenda Moriarty

    Brings back happy memories. The ease with which they tossed those bricks was always amazing, hour after hour, with strength and precision. I never saw them drop one, although that would have been a sight, too, and the air filled with laughter and jibes.


    1. grieflessons Post author

      But, just in case, they wouldn’t let me park near. They had no compunction about continuing to throw them as people walked by, though. Ah Mexico!! Where priorities are often skewed.


  2. Pingback: An Old Age Home | shivansh chaudhary

  3. thoughtfeeder

    These pictures are so timely clicked 😀 Hats off to the photographer! I love the part where you say, “And they will dig this website from the rubble
    of the Internet and find
    I wrote it as a daily prompt
    and if such records still exist,….”


    1. grieflessons Post author

      I’ve often wondered what they’ll do with everything written by us on the internet when we are dead and gone. Will it be like a backup disc on our computer, and will they start to record over old information eventually? How can they keep everything there forever? Will our websites lack immortality as we do? Thanks for reading and commenting, thoughtfeeder. Please come back and continue to trade words.


  4. Betty

    really like everything about this poem!…..but….could do without the ‘mouldering in your grave’ bit….and whats an Ozymandius???


    1. grieflessons Post author

      Hi Betty. Ozymandius is a very famous poem by Percy B. Shelley that presents the theme that however famous we think we are and whatever monuments we construct for ourselves, we will all be obscured by the passage of time. The central image is a huge monument with it’s head lopped off and buried in the sand that is inscribed, “My name is Ozymandius, King of all I survey” (paraphrased) and of course his eyes are looking out at bare desert. It is a reminder that we aren’t quite as important as we think ourselves to be. Google it and you’ll find the poem, penned as a dare between friends, just like these daily prompts.( The moldering was a joke as of course I will live forever!!) oxoxo Judy



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