April 1, 1987

Deserters of the iron mine
A fire of distant origin
Trapped before lights arose
dimly in the cavern's depth

Workers trapped beneath the earth
Might as well write prayers and notes
They prefer yellow roses to an ocean of violets
Somewhere beyond description
flames rage untouched
Did they know the exit was clear?
Or that the water lay just another ten feet down?

Thirty times the firemen chimed
to declare the number of victims
to the hoards of natives perched
on the road awaiting cheers
but leaning back on sobs
and calamity

Somewhere in Egypt, mummies and mammoth
gold rulers knew the whole story

In the end, black blankets and warehouses lay empty
Mothers, bereaved by lack of final proof
Under the tomb was Utopia
where trapped miners escape

No postcards were sent
But the firemen nodded and understood