Poem

You think if you’d have lived back then, you’d have worked down pit?
If they were still open now would you  pick up pick?
Questions asked by a miners son to another.
I’ve found a seam,
They laugh at each other.

Born into boots that would never fit,
150 year of coal and were the ones to miss the ship.
Still we live in the same terraced brick,
We can see were we have been but not were we are going,
Can see the tree outside but can’t tell if there growing.

Community crumbles like slag clay,
It’s dust similar to that inhaled Saturday.
Hune from rocks thousands of miles away,
This provides community and a place to stay,
Sat on plastic chairs around a John Smiths ash tray.

We were never miners,
Never did a day.
Blackest dark satans hollow I’ve heard the old boys say,
2 mile deep before the shift starts,
Lamp lit light shadow play art.
Never seen pit falls or heard the booms of blasting.
Don’t have blue scars on are back the marks of too much grafting.
Felt eyes burn upon return to the great blue ceiling.
Never seen pubs every weekend pack to the rafters screaming.
Not seen the banners or marching strong.
Non existent dole ques,
Or solidarity’s sweetest song.
Never washed each other’s back at the end of a shift.
Not felt the coal dust cover us every inch.

We were never miners but were there sons and daughters,
Born into a different world without a pit buzzer Dawn chorus.
Forging identity from the scraps that remain.
No footsteps to follow,
Many paths lead us astray,
Many possibilities out there if you get away,
The bridge of meritocracy is in disarray,
The mine were never mine but in my heart it stays.