poetryrepairs 15.07:080

PETER KROK: Randall McCloy: THE SAGO MINE (January 2, 2006)

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 Randall McCloy: THE SAGO MINE  (January 2, 2006)

I keep hearing Junior Toler’s words, “We’ll see you on the other side.” We got into the pit that morning Traveled two miles into the Sago earth. Then there came a blast The mine filled with thick smoke Breathing became unbearable We tried going back But there was no going back. The wall of bad air just got too thick We found a sledgehammer And we kept pounding The mine bolts and plates. We never heard an echo from above. The hammering just took more Of our air so we stopped. The gas kept drowning us As we felt weaker and weaker, We lost the feeling in our legs. I don’t know better how to describe it. The fumes just crept through our lungs Into our body and into our minds. When we began to accept it was the end, Junior led us in the Sinner’s Prayer. “Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, And to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.” Then he said we ought to write our goodbyes to our loved ones. Jackie Weaver was the last person I remember speaking to. He said if it was our time to go Then God’s will would be fulfilled. As the other miners drifted off One by one into the wave of sleep, The room grew still. I lay so close To the earth I nearly kissed it. I told myself Lie low and breathe slow and shallow. I have no idea how much time went by Before I passed out and they found me. I was the only miner left breathing I keep asking why and I can’t explain it I just keep hearing Junior’s words, “We’ll see you on the other side.”

poetryrepairs #215: 15.07:080


Other children were playing in the water so my son in his shorts and sneakers off and I with shoes off and trousers rolled waded the fountain at Logan Square. On a spouting frog my boy horsied piggyback bobbing his hands over the jetting spray. By the edge of the fountain a young woman sat, gazing at me spreading her thighs. She stared alone, one hand resting on her hip the other lifting the folds of her black skirt. When I was leaving, she had left the fountain and leaned back on a bench. Beside her boys laughed, as they tossed a pimple ball. The woman just kept staring like a Buddha over the Parkway.

poetryrepairs #215: 15.07:080

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"Randall McCloy: THE SAGO MINE (January 2, 2006) "was published in Poetry Nook 2013.10