A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
It was about nine o’clock that the explosion occurred,
and soon a black vapor poured out of the top of the shaft.
Horrible Explosion of Mine Gas!
The telephone rang the alarm throughout the region.
The mine superintendent had been up all night
attending a Robert Burns dinner at a local hotel.
After-damp kept him from going far down the shaft,
but he saw enough.
The Victims Met the King of Terror
in the Thick Darkness of the Long Underground Ways!
A crowd of fathers and brothers,
of mothers, sisters, and sweethearts
pressed in close around the shaft building.
60 Acres Strewn with Corpses!
There was but little suspense.
They were told the worst—
Lives of 107 Men Snuffed Out!—
and they returned to their homes almost in silence.
copyright 2015 by Dawn Potter