Sunday, December 23, 2007

What is sky?

They tell us about rain
water, they say, that falls from the sky
and washes the dust away
Eyes turned high, we see the rock overhead
and ask, what is sky?
The newcomers try to explain
rock dust filling their foolish mouths
smothering their lies
until they speak in the same
mumbling tongue as us
filled with dust and dry
She was one of them
but lied with her body
that never turned grey
She spoke with her hips
each swing of the pick, rock into dust
and her clean clean skin
never dirtied or touched
Her mouth kept shut, she watched
not as we watched
Cool blue eyes turned back up the shaft
Where we had forgotten how to turn and walk
she looked
Her pick rang as it fell and danced on the floor
her feet raised dust that never clung
and she ran
Into the darkness behind
We trembled as she disappeared back into myth
and turning back said just another lie
The ring of picks resumed
filling ore cars behind, unsent and waiting to be called
Our grey bodies thrown into the rock
coughing blood turned grey already deep inside
Then first one hammer fell silent
then another
then all
Down the shaft she came
and she glistened as she walked
The never dirty skin shining with droplets
Workclothes torn and soaked to her skin
Her clean clean skin
We circled and stared
a hand reaching out then another
and another
We touched the wetness, the cool dream
soft on our fingertips, her water, her skin
She smiled to see us reach
until a hand was pulled away
the rock dust stuck to her
As each touched and pulled back
tears begin to well in her eyes
but stuck to dust and dried
She turned grey to our touch
And her sadness rang in the first pick-fall
as she cut again into the rock
her own flesh
and so far from the rain
Eyes to the rock above we all heard her
What is sky?

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