(note of complaint here—these are written with the first line of each stanza all the way to the left and each following line indented. No one has yet made HTML code for indenting text. Why?? Why???)
Knowledge gained, Ina sets forth
Assembling the list of things she’d need was easy—gathering them
would mean some compromising. Overalls she’d had for years
over Mom’s ornery complaining. They be ruined for sure
and if she failed there’d be no money for more.
But the cards near always fell Ina’s way, with liquor to help luck along
in hard times. Her uncle Eddie wouldn’t take losing to a girl,
it was no more natural than her going down to the mines
so he’d keep upping the ante, and she knew patience and whiskey
would get her anything she wanted. Always had.
No sober miner would ever be one-upped into putting his flint, much less
his carbide onto the table, but Eddie was not near the first
to part with his pride this way. Offering his hat double-or-nothing
for the light was not a big risk for a desperate man.
When a puff of a boy came looking for work, a cousin of folks next county over,
well, this was business as usual, as was offering him half
a grown man’s wages. 5 am on a Monday and she was on
her way down.