Coal Town


Birds don’t stop in this town.

I see them fly past, black peppering

blue, going someplace. I’ve given up

dreaming wings. This town

will know my bones. Condoms

sell well in Joe’s corner store – boredom breeds

but breeding’s a trap, a twitch in the smile

of those steel-eyed shrews

who linger late after church.

I walked half a day, out past the salt flats,

after they closed the movie house down. Smoked

the joint she’d brought back from college

when she returned to bury my dad.

I remember how pale her fingers lay

across my father’s hands –

coal miner’s hands, tarred like his lungs;

like this town.

First published in Eunoia Review, July 2016.

Winner of the Goodreads Monthly Poetry Contest, August 2016.

By the same author: Unburied Hatchet

Guest Post by Ryan from Days of Stone


My name is Ryan Stone, I’m a freelance writer from Melbourne, Australia. I have no formal credentials, just an observer’s eye and an insatiable appetite for books. I’m rough around the edges but the right turn of phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time.

The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

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4 thoughts on “Coal Town

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