What Keeps Us Warm
In darkness, the old miner stood
by the window, looked out over
the savaged valley, burdened
deep with tailings and spoil –
the headwaters of Barren Creek
buried. It was bad enough
in the time the old bosses
raided this place, but when
Wall Street came, the change
was forever. The mountains
descended into the valleys,
broken, like he was in the long-
wall days, like his home place
The hard consonants add to the darkness and brokenness of this scene. Unforgettable images.
Thanks, Sue. There is a lot of brokenness in this hills, for sure.
A sad story but beautifully told in craft. Love the phrasing like “burdened/deep with tailings and spoil” and “long-wall days.” Everything in this poem weighs us down to reality.
I really enjoyed this poem, especially “The mountains/descended into the valleys,/broken…”
I can feel the weight of this story. Thanks, Dick.
I can see this scene and feel the weight.
deep with tailings and spoil