Look how I come, like a mirage
up from the pit where I have left my name
buried beneath the dust that marks
my face, fine as ashes and so deep
I cannot wash it off, except the circles
around my eyes like rings around the moon
that promise change. Dark as the inside
of the slag heap is the mine where I break
black rocks with my pick,
and it has been the tomb
for many men, but it will not be mine.
I have a son whose name is Bryn, and I have sworn
and swear again each day that he will not
descend into this hole. I see him in a field lost
in his book, the wind picks up his hair,
his face lifts to the sun as fair
as mine was once.
What I have seen buried
in dark seams of coal, I bring
to the mouth at each day’s end
and make with my throat the sound
that is his name.