Unrolling long sheets of asbestos, the particles floating on air, like miniature stars, traveling down an unmasked windpipe, the first insult, dark spot on a lung. You draw pictures of your father, cigarette poised between his lips, the smoke, a curlicue of gray crayola. Hanging on the fridge, your mom puts magnets on all 4 corners. 30 feet below the ground, the mine shaft is dark and dangerous, but, he brings home steelies. You keep his recliner warm. Heat his plate of potatoes and cod. His cough wakes you up every morning. He drives you to the hills where he teaches you to fire a gun at unsuspecting aluminum cans. His hands smell like grease and metal. Running blade sounds from the garage, you straddle the sawhorse while he inhales the dust from your hope chest. And you do nothing, and there is nothing you can do, small helpless child. The spot grows, the scars multiply and he slowly drowns. You don't know why, but, you save the papers from the Norwegian doctors that state: Clear upon examination. Those lungs he gave to America. © Lisa Zaran
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