The Canary

April 5, 2013

An expedition beneath the earth,
Endless winding paths branch out
Like a myriad of blood vessels
Hiding under the skin of
Mother Nature herself.
These men, hardened as steel,
Enter the labyrinth known
As the Phoebes Mine.

That precious commodity of
Steam engines across the nation,
Coal is what they dig for.
Black, musty, covered in soot,
There is one man in particular
Who carries something
Entirely different- a cage.
Hiding within, a spry yellow
Canary flutters its wings,
Innocently unaware of the
Nature of its passage below.
It sends out a curt little chirp,
Addressing the last friends
He will ever converse with.

The men worked hard,
Crushing spirits and rock
Both in one hammer blow.
The sudden silence was their
Solitary clue that something,
Tragically, had gone awry;
On the bottom rim of the
Birdcage, lined with greying
Newspaper, lay the canary.

One tiny life suffocated quietly
Pays the toll for many to live.
The men escaped just in time,
But the canary would fly no more.



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