The Coal Dried Up

It was supposed to last forever, 
I guess. 

The town was once booming, 
a place of dynamite and drinkers,
the money flowing–
accounts for the name.

Now the town is a locust’s hull
The people mostly buy drugs now, or drink, or both. 
They watch static-filled screens. 

It seems like everyone has an alcoholic in the family. 

One of the boy’s many uncles filled this needed role, 
occupying a mobile home by a small pond.

Science fiction VCR tapes, the stale smell of smoke,
many brown bags.

The boy’s grandfather carried a perpetual hump
because one time, in a ride to work at the mines, 
he was riding in the back of a pickup truck. 

There are no rides in the back of trucks
without this hump arriving in thought.

The driver was going too fast, hit a slick spot –
grandfather went flying. 
Who knows where he landed? 
But the landing was not good.

By the time the boy was born, coal was dying. 
They still call for it. 
Give us our mines, they tell the politicians. 

But the mines aren’t working much anymore,
the sink won’t be fixed.

The coal lords would rather save a dime,
close a mine, I guess, 
than do the right thing. 

So, the miners go home, blaming high-minded
elected officials that want to save the sky and rivers.

Blame the coal lords.
Blame them for this greed.

Do they care if the mines come crashing in
or crashing down? 
I doubt it, as history has taught me.



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JD DeHartComment