Monday, 10 October 2011

September in Huntly by Lauris Edmond

From the hill road you see spring weather
firing the tow, sun running with the river,
dancing on glass as cars wink in the street, 
falling on windows and water
in the late afternoon shower of stars.

Away to the north are the mines
lit by lamps, slow-burning butt-ends
of the dark; the middle shift thinks now
of tea at four, cards, quiet booze, shoves
at the door, coughs in the mucky dust.

The light blooms and dies, jade green
burning the sky like a flare, all over town
smoke rises, tired men enter as it ends
the glowing day, hump home remnants 
of their temper, feel the cold.

In the kitchens women are stoking stoves,
grumbling at the soot in the chimney,
the easterly's choking smoke; children
crowd squabbling round fires that no one really
remembers the miners' long labour lit.

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