July 8, 2013

Sun Damaged

Working in the Texas soybean fields as a kid
under a blazing and insolent summer sun
that tempted him with mirages of
cool rippling lakes along the horizon,
he dreamed of a future working
in an chilled, air-conditioned office.

He’d sit in a cushioned chair
and wear a dark, clean suit, and a fresh thin tie
instead of muddy, oversized boots
and sweaty bandannas.

He’d have shiny black dress shoes with black laces
and folded white handkerchiefs.
He’d wear a sleek watch and a thin belt
not a thick one showing a man riding a bull on its buckle.

He’d go to lunch whenever he wanted
instead of having to eat when the sun was at its highest
and when they were closest to the car
that had everyone’s lunch
packed into a foam cooler in its trunk.

He’d walk with a purpose
and smile at people.
He’d talk to strangers
and they would welcome it.

He wouldn’t constantly scan the toiling soil
looking for thorned weeds to scissor.
He wouldn’t talk quietly to himself in order to pass the time.
He wouldn’t wonder what everyone else in the world was doing
at that exact moment.

He wouldn’t be ashamed to tell his friends
what he did over the summer
because he’d have gone on vacation
like everyone else
and not worked the fields
dreaming of a time when
when he would escape
the assiduous sun.