Elergy for a Chinese (or any other) mineworker

(Every few months, perhaps weeks, there is a major Coal mine accident in China. Environmental issues
are not just climate change issues, but health and safety issues for the poor of China and elsewhere.)

Rana Bose
December 10, 2004


Elegy for a Chinese (or any other) mineworker

I have an image of a flag
That is soundless,
The wind ceased
Dropped anchor
Left town like in a hustle
I hear sirens, bored but smitten
With a terror of their own
Wailing past a dark breeze
Which was cancelled,
From above, by decree
For a risk, below,
Inside a canary mine,
Where headlights
Fumbled, clutched,
bent over and choked
till the wet wall itself,
grimaced at the CH4
and sorrow alone, unable,
could not hold back
the roof,
as lips outside quivered,
till hope flickered,
while the gold on rails,
was lifted, foisted, removed
gingerly, and carried out quietly
and left eclipsed by
the black sun
that fires the boiler,
that powers the turbine,
that runs the generator
that brings in the orange glow
From the down, below.