I wasn’t born in coal mines,
though I like to say I was—
I’ve never mined underground for coal,
yet it’s a deep soulful part of me.
It’s about heritage in my genes,
not just my father; grands as well,
going back hundreds of years,
to mines in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.
Spoiled me. Never as tough, rugged, or ruthless
as they. No. Not descended
from fucking royalty, no dukes or counts.
Dirty, stinking, poor souls; a legacy
facing daily underground misery.
Piss-poor. Hard core. The Molly Maguires,
maybe for sure, perhaps not. I confess.
I’m tribal. My people: a joyless pride.
Look both ways and wonder.
What were they like? Who will they be?
Mind the gaps.
Turn the page.