Today's poem is by Terri Kirby Erickson

County Fair

Pulled like rotten teeth from the open mouths
of mineshafts, massive pyramids of gleaming
coal dot the landscape of Kanawha County.
Coal dust fine and black as pulverized midnight,
covers everything for miles. Rows of ramshackle
houses kneel by the river like washer women
with their knees in river muck, and jagged
mountains cut the slate-gray sky

to ribbons. But the Kanawha River is long
and winding, and leads to a lone Ferris wheel
rising up from the bottomland, jaunty
as an Easter bonnet. Its rainbow-colored gondolas
call to mind a different tune than the dismal dirges
of Black Lung and White Damp. They carry the sound
of children's laughter through the ground
and into the mines, like light.

Copyright © 2009 Terri Kirby Erickson All rights reserved
from Telling Tales of Dusk
Press 53
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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