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Rated: E · Poetry · Cultural · #1385773
Working for a living should not take your life.
Graveyard Cough

In our family, blood runs black,
lungs are furnaces,
a fire in the belly.
No control, eats away.

At fourteen, I am next
to pick up my lighted hat,
descend into the pits of hell.
A curse hides as tradition.

My sweet dark daddy,
shriveled body, racking cough,
sits at our table, can't smell or eat.
A mirror appears, this could be me.

Looking into the distance,
I glimpse change, a different future.
Clean crisp air over green mountains
rises high over deep coal mines.

Work should not kill a man,
It could be a source of pride.
All can change with a vision.
I sacrifice my miner's hat.

Run; I am alive!

By Kathie Stehr
edited April, 2022
Free verse
21 lines
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