Saturday, 9 November 2013

The miner carves out a niche

Each scrape of the shovel,
every dug out notch
or carved tunnel

feeds the ache
that is carried in hands
permanently blackened and a heart

lost in the timelessness of day
to day searches
and the demands

never able to be met;
like the puppet that walked,
it amazes everyone

he rises each day, dresses
in the same worn clothes,
finds his boots beneath the bed

and sets forth to work in the mines
where he excavates through the hours.
His mind

distantly remembers
that time in sunlight and blue skies,
sunbathing, his wife in red bathers

running towards the waves,
her white thighs
yet to show the purple veins

hated as much as those he digs
every day.
At night they sat together -

he whittled,
they spoke of children
and, as the distant dance of the sea

crashed upon the shore,
in darkness, with hope,
they carried themselves

into a future
they both wished for
and secretly feared.

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