$20.64

The end of the day is near,
and I’m flipping through the channels,
Searching the airwaves,
For some semblance of truth.

Above the talking heads of the men in charge,
Beyond the voices who know it all,
Through the barrage of noise,
I finally find what I’m looking for.

My soothsayer.
My truth teller.

It’s written all over her face,
Tears as real as cicadas,
screeching outside my window.

I try to say something,
But the cacophony of men,
Drowns me out.

Are you there? she asks.

Yes I am, I shout back.
Why are you crying? I ask.

She says something, but I can barely hear her.

She is holding a piece of paper, something official.
She points to it and starts screaming again.

What is it? I ask but she can’t hear me.

She closes her eyes as though to compose herself.

She starts shouting again,
And this time,
All the talking stops.

I lost my daughter today, she says.

The piece of paper – $20.64.
Was her daughter’s last paycheck.

© 2020 Ramin Gillett

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