The Mine - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
He called her 'Silly-Putty'
since that Septembermorning.
He'd clamped his iron fist
around her eager ankle.
She'd cried her tears of rage
into the river far below.
They had, against all odds,
made a great life together,
there, in that coal-dust town
where Black and White united
against the signal from canaries.
Rich men in suits, so far away,
in towers made of ivory and chrome
are always busy counting dough
while clippings of new funerals
go out with all the other trash.
It seemed they always suffocated,
perhaps in cold, slow motion.
And he had been the foreman
when they married in the Spring.
They found his note, deep in the shaft.
It read 'I'm sorry, them's the breaks.'
It had been scribbled with a steady hand.
Today she finds sustaining comfort,
and, pleasantly, a memory of bitter-sweet.
With her new man of fifty years,
who's always brought the bird,
canary-yellow, short of beak
back home to her. He never wrote a note.
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