CBC1 Winner, Christopher Meehan

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    Reopening the Mines

    The town feels like Friday,
    He drifts through the farmer’s market,
    Face paler than a bleached moon,
    A dancing waif, side-stepping the baby
    Hugging mothers and fathers buying organic
    In their brightly coloured knits.

    This in a week of protracted silence,
    Of lights going out on the second knock,
    Of a shadow fitting a loose description
    Seen snorkelling in a sea of roses
    On the square, after the scotch
    Had met the night and so completely.

    Two years since the cave-in,
    Since hope crumbled leaving nothing
    To buttress the light against the creeping
    Darkness of November, and yet still they wait
    For him daily, throwing their words over the side
    Until the tunnels and collapsed chambers

    Are coated in brightly hued clichés
    Around time healing and things picking up.
    To be trapped down there where it hurts,
    Where once he dug out the good stuff from
    The Pyrite of the past and then hear them talking
    Of reopening the mines, when all he

    Longs for is time, an air pocket to inhabit
    Between the inhalation and the piercing screams.