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Mine Disasters in the United States

More Mining Poetry by Joel

Mining Poetry by Joel Tankersley

Skip Tender

You bet I'll give you a job,
the superindent said with a laugh.
But to prove to me you want one,
you'll skiptend in the shaft.

I hate working in the shaft,
it's not like busting rock.
Now here I am, out on the bum,
what choices have I got.

The hoist and hoistman looked,
shakey I could tell.
The mine had four levels,
skip pockets looked like hell.

But I went to work and I never shirked,
and I was as happy as a loon.
I lowered supplies in the morning,
and hoisted muck in the afternoon.

I hung around a month or so,
in this nasty place.
Then this finally happened,
and how my heart did race.

I was on the 800 level,
standing there telling Jack.
Stay right here old chum,
and I'll send the lagging back.

I belled up for the collar,
and UP I did not go.
I headed for the bottom,
and I wasn't going slow.

With every set it picked up speed,
I felt the need to repent.
Then all of a sudden it stopped with a jerk,
down to the floor I went.

The hoistman pulled me back,
to the level there.
Jack leaned over the gate,
and gave me a funny glare.

Jack said these simple words,
fast trip, glad your back.
You know people pay good money,
to take a ride like that.

Copyright Joel Tankersley

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