I never imagined I could do this
kitted up with a hard hat and battery pack,
he pulls the cage shut and we descend slowly
nothing to see just the damp rock face.
Descending further into the dark,
our bags and cameras left on the surface
a spark from a battery could ignite
our guide tells us, he was an explosives man,
laugh at his jokes to forget
we’re half a mile underground
the kids stunned into silence.
We all turn off our lamps to experience
dark so dense it presses our eyeballs,
think of kids sent down here age 6
working twelve hour days.
He talks about canaries and poison gas
and ‘snap’ that’s what Dad called a packed lunch.
We crouch through low tunnels
dig some coal to take home in our suitcase.
Back in the cage at last
we’re re-born into the sunlight.
The Far Hills
12 hours ago