The coal miners

by Eric MacKenzie

They shuffle out, darkened by need,

a minstrel show of faces, fake.

Whites of eyes, rehearsed, encircle

nothing of the miners’ deeper pits

as though we might belong

below the surface.


Not that I class it curious

among machines that fly and float

if man who rapes reality

decides to do

what seems more natural to ants.


It’s just that

I used to think my mission

was in mining, unearthing all

the facts about myself … Alas

I show too many signs of

suffocation –

too conscious in my chair

of being trapped.