Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The path that lay ahead was insulated from strangers, and foreigners. At least for awhile.
The mountains wrapped around me like a security blanket,
I felt as if I was in the Lord's bosom, or my Mama's womb.
I would have objected if I'd known what the meaning of change would bring with it.
Many a loved one buried in these mines forever, for simply trying to
put food on the table. Sincerity was far from the coal company's heart, for
his heart was blacker than the coal that he stole from us.
Greed, selfishness, and the love of money was the root of our misfortune. The greed of the coal company and the love of it's money took a toll on the young man from Knott County Kentucky.
To furnish a young family man with a mining position, brought a crooked grin upon the coal company's
face. Months later, that young man aged far beyond his years, walks with a limp, is missing a
finger, and carries with him a cough that will carry him to his grave.
The crooked grin widens upon the face of the black hearted thief, as he watches the young
man limp down the dirt path heading home.
Greeted by his family, a smile almost erases the pain from the coal miner's tired and worn face.
Little hands reach up, holding the man's face between tiny palms.
The young man pulls the little hands to his lips,
gently kissing them. He made a promise to the black hearted thief, right then and there. "You
shall not dirty these little man's hands with your greed. By the grace of God, he shall not know
the sorrows and pain of a cold dark mine."
The young man kept his promise. Those little hands are today, calloused and worn after years
of their own hard work.
But never did they give up a dollar, to that black hearted thief.

© 2010 Mikki Jo Howard

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