Money Matters

Gazing upon the countryside.
Gazing upon the countryside.

“I wonder if my family

Thinks of me much

While I am away?”

Asked the father

To no one in particular

In that lunch-time circle.

He chewed absently,

His true self spirited away

To the village on no map

That would even have it,

Where something was

Made from nothing

With only his two hands.

A sigh escaped, squinting

In the bright light,

Surrounded by twisted metal,

Hardened steel and

Mountains of dirt

That marred the landscape

In the name of progress.

The father slid back into

His beaten gloves,

Exhaust escaping his lungs

Clouding his cab

As he shifted his gears

Out of neutral.

Industrial screams cried out

To no one in particular,

Unheard by the family he left:

The son and daughter

In the television room,

Strumming on an

Out of tune guitar.

The eldest son outside,

Avoiding his chores.

His wife painting her lips,

Torturing her hair in heat,

Making herself feel

As beautiful as he did.

Quietly they went on,

The father and family,

Only circumstance between,

Figuring out how to play

Certain songs and

How to feel something

More than what the sun

Had to offer that day.

Composed 07/08/2012

Author’s Note: Many fathers, I have found, have moved away from their families for most of the year while they work in the large mines scattered across Mongolia. They go away for several weeks or months, and then are given a few weeks vacation to return to their families. One woman I knew, whose husband works out in the Gobi, works for six weeks, and then comes home for two. I always wondered how this affects the family dynamics, especially if they have younger children.

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