The steel company came and found the coal,
Then they founded the town and crowed,
“This mighty seam will last a hundred years!”
So the town was built with steel and stone,
Concrete and girders all around.
The mines were bored by the eager men
Who braved the dark, breathed blackened air.
Ten thousand people lived there then.
Scrip was money for the company store.
A bank/post office, for gravitas, indeed.
A train station, a movie house, swaggering men.
When the big company guys came, rarely,
They stayed at the fancy hotel, above it all.
They weren’t unfriendly, just aloof.
“You people this.” “You people that.”
The mines gave out in forty years.
The passengers are gone from the station.
(It was a museum for a while but someone
Came and took the history away)
The bank/post office, now it’s city hall.
The sturdy old schools are creepily still.
The rooms, vandalized and broken,
Look as if everyone just up and walked away,
Only the ashlar Catholic church still holds its own.
No grocery store, no gas and go, no food.
Walk the town, see the buildings.
Feel the souls the stones soaked in.
Go on, take pictures. It’s all fading
To the memories, the fleeting memories.
Memories of what it used to be
When things were hoppin’, down in Lynch.