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Mine Disasters in the United States

More Mining Poetry by Joel

Mining Poetry by Joel Tankersley

New Years 1999

He stumbled throught the door,
an evening wind did howl.
A cough mixed "Good day sir",
sounded like a growl.

A wore out coat, grey matted hair,
my wood stove huffed it's smoke.
Evening can I help you chum,
behind my desk I spoke.

This fellas eyes upon me,
a reply was hard and straight.
eerie was his words,
like the icy hand of fate.

"I can do er all boy,
from the Mill to the gob
Have you something stirring,
I'm looking for a job".

Well where have you been working?,
he angred at my ploy.
he shot back that he was breaking rock,
when my daddy was a boy.

He said, "I've dug coal at Price,
worked the tipple down at Hanna.
I just quit a good job,
up at Nye, Montana.

I was there at Ludlow,
took the bayonet.
My brother was killed at Goldfield,
that I never will forget.

I've broke copper on the hill,
in Bingham Canyon and in Butte.
I sunk shaft at San Manuel,
I've pulled a Camp Bird chute.

That mighty Bartlett Mountain,
at that rock I tore.
The Homestake, Nelson Tunnnel,
I dug, I cussed, I swore.

My fame at pulling pillars,
in Victor and in Grants.
Moab down to Slick Rock,
I made Park City dance.

The Argonaut out in Jackson,
I was there when she burned.
In Bishop, Baker and Bullfrog,
I shovel, picked and learned.

I can do it all kid,
from sump to Mill pond float.
I need a break kid, I'm played out,
softly now he spoke.

I have spanned this century,
and now I'm past my prime
This is my last show,
my name is Father Time.

There before me stood,
the one who had done it all.
strange and sick is how I felt,
heartbroke I recall.

With one month left it's his last hole,
a tear was in my eye.
I picked up the phone to the walking boss,
got basket in the change house dry.

I said take this note to the grand hotel,
and get the finest room.
Tell the matron to feed you well,
your pump watch will start at noon.

His room and board I have to pay,
Happy New Years from this camp.
I should have known that Father Time,
was just a 10 day tramp.

Copyright Joel Tankersley

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