I am honored to be in a little creative writing group with some especially talented and vibrant women. We recently responded to this visual prompt. (If you decide to write a response to this photograph, I’d love to read it!)
Weariness clouded her mind like an Oklahoma dust storm. She could barely breathe for the choking, much less collect her thoughts. But what good would thoughts do? You can’t actually take them to the bank when you need bread money. Fatigue pounded at her temples. It’s funny she should be so tired; she hadn’t worked in months. How could the unemployment line be more draining than a 12 hour shift at the factory?
Of course it wasn’t the lack of busyness that drained her, it was the worry. Worrying about how her family could scrape the bottom of the barrel for just one more meal. Worrying over her daddy’s health, his lungs blackened by the coal mines. Worrying if she would ever be somebody.
She imagined she was a hobo. Not that their life was practical, but it sure was tempting. Hopping from town to town, taking their future in their own hands. It didn’t matter that their hands were filthy – mama didn’t approve – at least they were holding something.
Her future was sealed, like a tomb. She was the daughter of a Tennessee coal miner and that was that. She’s marry, if anyone would ever have her, and probably have as many children as her frail body could handle. She would never have a great fortune, or even $10 at once. She was born poor, the last few years had just reminded her of the fact. Her dull eyes screamed silence as she considered her outlook.
It was beyond depressing, really.