The Miner’s Wife
She had six kids and a husband.
She spent a long time raising them.
The Silver Valley wasn’t home,
but it became that eventually.
Originally it was the Midwest someplace,
before the war.
On an island in the middle of a lake:
Six kids . . . and the rest of them,
the bastard step children or just the stray
dogs. It is the same every summer.
It is a vacation in the sun.
They put in her coffin the tomatoes
she never got around to canning before
she died. She wasn’t going to stick them
with all those tomatoes. They put in
a bottle of Yukon Jack, and a pack of Kools.
They were thoughtful, and tossed in a fresh
lighter. They put in a cold one in a can
cooler. It is always a long trip to somewhere.
The journey started with beer;
the journey ended with beer.
It is always a long trip to somewhere.
Dark places underground are strange,
things growing in the light less, and the light
reflects off dark pools from the miner’s lamps.
In the light of day, we keep on drinking
before we go back underground.
Above ground at night we keep
on drinking before we go back
underground during the day.