Gazing into the bowels of the beast known as Boomtown
I watch as its victims succumb to the temptations
The unending depreciation
Of small-town America
All sparked by a foul-smelling black fuel.
A sickeningly awe-inspiring sight.
Wal-Mart is its Mecca.
There, a young mother strolls by with her cart
Pushing a child so infantile that I couldn't distinguish its gender.
I had no way of knowing from its attire.
It donned only a dirt-ridden disposable diaper.
Its huge, innocent eyes peer out into the only world it has ever known.
Its chubby, bare legs dangle against the rigid, unforgiving metal of the cart.
The young mother's unwashed hair hangs languidly over her face
Casting deeper shadows on the bags under her eyes
And the crevices worn from rivers of tears from years past,
The hollows of her face sunken by time.
Faded tattoos, scars, and track marks adorn each of her limbs.
A string of offspring trailing behind,
Toddlers nipping at her bare ankles.
She holds her chin up as she nears the exit.
In spite of her condition,
The young mother shows no signs of defeat.
In fact, she emits an accomplished air.
A calm wisdom shines behind the extrinsic dullness in her eyes
A sense of inner peace
As if she had achieved a state of comfort, perfection, nirvana.
Her attitude was reinforced by the words
Emblazoned on her oversized, faded T-shirt
Just above a screen print of a regal-looking bald eagle: