Sweat and Toil

a poem about migrant workers

Jason Edmunds
1 min readMay 14, 2022


Photo by Greta Hoffman on Pexels

These boots and hands toots working
in new places to pay my daily dues
loving family waiting anxiously away
for my return every day.

Hopping from one farm to another
leaving before first light cleaving
I plant and pluck crops for a buck
from dawn till dusk.

Sweat and toil, blood and tears
part of this place part-time only
I don’t belong, but they can’t do
without me.

I’m a mettle migratory bird aloft
leaving hardships and drought be.
Searching for green pastures keen
mostly all alone.

Where do I belong? I don’t know?
Not here nor there, it seems.

Migrant workers form the backbone of the farming industry in Germany. Most of the migrant workers are from countries within Central and Eastern Europe.

A study indicates that Germany receives around 400 000 migrant workers a year. These seasonal workers are employed in the agricultural and horticultural labor sections due to a shortage of national workers.

This poem was inspired by A-Word-A-Day prompts for May 2022 — Day 14 (Migratory) published in Promptly Written. Thanks, Christine, and Ravyne.

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Jason Edmunds

I enjoy socialising, experimenting in the kitchen, reading, writing and walking.