Uncle Bob's Words

Words, poetry, stuff like that

The Kingdom of Coal

It was the names that first off drew him:

Carbo, Raven, Zeal.

Sun and

Dwina and

Dixiana.

Derbyville

Bonnie Blue

Clinchco.

And more, following the rusty rails,

The dusty roads into valleys

Along the topo contours.

All there on the 7.5 minute quads –

Fading princesses in the Kingdom of Coal.

He could feel their pull, these places.

Living.  Miners living, miners dying.

Mothers living, widows crying.

Kids looking outward, away.

The coal ran out.  The rails went silent.

And life, as it does, mostly leaked away.

Just buildings and ghosts stayed on.

Even the ghosts got bored and left.

Community stayed, company store

Is a Rec Center, church held  firm.

Here, he thought, here is something fading,

Something that needs remembering.

His camera, digital with a thousand blinks

To keep these houses, stores, tunnels, tips,

Loaders, churches, streets, rails, remnants,

All into a file of their own.

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