Sunday, July 6, 2014

Grandfather's Rocker

The creak of Grandfather’s rocker
on our wooden porch planks.
They have returned—the ghosts
of black-lunged miners
from a glossed-over wrinkle in time
when life was worn hard
as a vein of lead, its spirit subdued
under steel-toed boots
from The Company Store,
when Earth weighed heavily
on their chests, even before
the carbon tunnel cave-in,
its crushing vacuum compressing,
strangling, abducting their lives
breath by wheezing breath.

Until that day in 1940
when the whistle screamed,
“Don’t take a chance,
it may be your last.”