The Kingdom of Coal
It was the names that first off drew him:
Carbo, Raven, Zeal.
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.