toiling away in the wide open fields of my mind

i dreamed of becoming a writer

making a living rustling birds from the brush

plucking them from the sky

and placing them into rows on a page

but life came calling

and the mortgage demanded payment

so i went to work selling my time to the machine of commercialism

turning away from those open fields to focus on factory floors

where industry clanged away

and blindfolded automatons worked eight hours

with a lunch and two cigarette breaks

the money came

validating my talent to stir emotions with words

and drive sales

then children arrived

and through them I was able to see once more

wide open fields

basking in sunlight

green grass waving in the breeze

only, there was no money there

and the real world has harsh demands

so every night

as I tucked them in

and told them lies about life

I’d grasp their hands and we’d run away

for a little while

into those fields

where imagination is king

and no one can tell us what to think

then i’d kiss them goodnight

knowing that in a few hours

I’d be back inside the machine

with a gun barrel pressed against my temple

the children are getting older now

and we take fewer trips into those fields

as they prepare for their own descent

into the real world



The Great American Bake Sale
The Bubble

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.