working at my
father’s jewelry store,
a woman walked in.
Showing me the glossy, tumbled
piece of coal set in the center, this
woman tells me she needs her
mourning ring resized. Her fingers
have grown pudgier, more round since he left her. She has not been dealing
with the stress well, she says. She walks
around and around the house, and she frets
and she walks around the house, and she frets.
She eats every cookie and sweet in the house.
and she frets. Her husband worked at the
mine – the old one in Kanawha County. He
got black lung. She walks around and
around the house thinking about all of
the expenses – new tires for the van,
the dryer needs maintenance on the
cylinder, she says. Bills and coins
and dollar signs and zeroes fill her
mind’s eye and what’s more?
Her son says he wants to
work in the mines to help
with all of the bills. It
makes her head
spin, she says.
Jacob Yankey is a senior from Wilmington, N.C. majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Creative Writing with a focus in poetry. Following graduation, he would like to get into professional beekeeping, attend graduate school, or become a trophy husband.