Man from Merthyr

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Man
from
Merthyr

 Memory loss punched
holes in your head
and let in the dark,
instead of the light.

Constellations faded,
erased by the arch-
angel’s coal-dust wing.

 “I’m shrinking,” you said,
the last time I saw you,
you who had been taller
were now smaller than me.

 Tonight,
when the harvest
moon shines bright
and drowns the stars
in its sea of light,
I will sit by my window
and watch for your soul
as it rockets its
way to eternity.

My eyes will be dry.
I do not wish
pink runnels to run
down this coal-miner’s
unwashed face.

“When the coal
comes from the Rhondda
down the Merthyr-Taff Vale line,
when the coal
comes from the Rhondda
I’ll be there.”

With you,
shoulder to shoulder.

Farewell, my friend,
safe journey.

17 thoughts on “Man from Merthyr

    • The Rhondda Valley (there are actually two, Fach and Fawr) are coal mining valleys in South Wales. At their maximum production some 150-200 coal mines produced high quality coal that was moved by train often down the “Methyr-Taff Vale line” to Barry Docks and the sea at Cardiff. The mines functioned from the late 1800’s through to 1960-1966 when the mines and the colleries were finally shut down.

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