Nightfall at Shaft 12 – A Poem by Harold Strauss

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A Poem by Harold Strauss | Poet

A wicker basket creaks
As it warms by the fire
Thawing flakes of snow
Which melt and spiral down
The weave that she wove
Just last winter.

The mines were open then.
And I guess they’re open now,
but not manned.
She thinks of it still: little veins of iron
Nestled in the rocks
Never to know the light and cold.
Or the roughness of her husband’s hands.

She wonders how many meals that stubborn ore
Could afford her child if she only could find it.
She dreamt of finding it. She swore she could.
But it took a town to find it.
It took her husband.
And now the town has all but emptied.
And he has left.

And she has her baskets.
But no one to weave for
And she has her child.
But what little funds its father
Mails home are never enough.

So she watches the snow thaw
Before the coal-fed flames
That flicker through the night
And moisten the wicker basket
And slide down its spiral
Pooling at the bricks
Pooling at the rug
That she’s not sure
His boots will tread again.


About the Poet

Harold Strauss is an emerging poet who hopes his work speaks for itself. You can find more of his poetry on his website here.

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