Mining Poetry by Joel Tankersley
Thirty Five Years
Celebrating the Mine Act of 1977
My father, my father, gone is your time.
Gone long ago, to that mill and the mine.
Father, oh father, gone is the son.
Rock in the box, coal has been run.
My father, the number, "two seventy three",
forever united by the Act they will be.
The training, the commitment, the service applied,
last year, the number, thirty five died.
A daughter, a child, a wife, a mother,
a family, a daddy, a sister or brother.
An honor, a virtue, standard and stock,
a commitment to you, the American Rock.
When one life was too many,
one candle or wreath.
That day found in sorrow,
a lifetime of grief.
Pressed down and shaken,
Thirty five years in remembrance,
our progress was made.
It has built up our cities,
our horizon, our lights.
Warmed each of our homes
on American nights.
It has paved out our roads,
the earths treasure trove.
Neutrinos to moon,
from young to the old.
The Mine Act has been there,
its endeavor is taut,
committed to you,
the American Rock.
© Joel Tankersley 2013