four bodies,
this morning.
five days
twenty-five others–
only three
laid to rest

that bastard
should be shut
he said, fire…
no rescue
chamber can
provide escape
methane gas.
flash, they
call it…passes
through in a
they talk of
MSHA and
don’t close the mine,
they say. we need
grandfather was
a miner. cousins are
too. this way
of life
is dark
we dig
through rock and
and dust,
but arms are
empty and streets
silent today.
the air I
breathe is
fresh and
Please join me in praying for the families of the twenty-nine miners killed in the explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County on Monday. The final four bodies were found today.


  1. says

    Most of us have no idea what this kind of job is like. We see the ravages mining does to the environment and turn our heads away. We only glimpse the ravages to humans when there’s a tragedy like this.

    I visited a diamond mine in South Africa some years ago. I’ve never forgotten the feeling of being underground, the coldness, the blackness, except for the glint. And the voices of the visiting children who were singing in the elevator as we ascended.

    Coal may be/is needed. Diamonds are not.

    What happens to the humans you go underground is a story that needs to be told and re-told.

  2. says

    Oh this surely is a heartbreaking story. Your words penetrated deeply into my heart. I pray along with you this day and the days to come for all who were lost and their families. Absolutely heart-wrenching.


  3. says

    I pray for these families who have lost so much and for those who still go down in the deep.

    A life that is hard living and hard working deserves safer conditions. It angers me to think that this mine (and how many more like it) function when they receive so many safety write ups.


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