From tiny beginnings to oceans I discovered the world in words

When the Smoke Clears.

The ground trembles,

a sharp intake of breath stills the village,

the pit siren begins to wail.


Feet hasten to the pit head,

women and children, family elders,

each cottage left abandoned;

then the explosion fills the air

with screams, dust and smoke.


The cage cranks up,

saddened faces surface,

desperate men, looking for their families.

Others waiting, searching,

cling together in the lingering smog,

tear streaked faces mouthing prayers.


Rescue makes way for retrieval,

husbands, fathers, sons.


The church bell tolls on Monday morning.

Martha joins the procession of feet,

walking to a place they don’t want to go,

carrying men shoulder high.

Every ebony coffin bearing a pit helmet,

leaving the village,

no longer cloaked in smoke,

now wrapped in devastation.


Elaine Morris (c) August 2015.

Comments on: "When the Smoke Clears." (4)

  1. Wow, elaine, this is so visual and raw. The atmosphere of the whole poem is set for us in the first stanza. Very powerful. And “walking to a place they don’t want to go” is such a great line.

  2. You have captured shock and unexpected grief.
    One can only hope for the needed support…

    (This is a similar seen at fire rescues and other natural disasters.)

  3. Thank Christine and Jules or your comments.

  4. Thnks for popping by Freya

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: