Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tragedy at Upper Big Branch
TRAGEDY AT UPPER BIG BRANCH
It’s happened again
another coal mine disaster
more human lives lost because of our obsession with coal.
An explosion has rocked the underground mine,
Massey Energy again – where’s the surprise?
The largest coal producer in central Appalachia,
the largest number of safety violations;
when will they start caring about the heartache they have caused?
The worst explosion since 1984,
today, 25 miners are dead, and four still unaccounted for,
husbands, brothers, sons, nephews;
grandsons, friends, lovers –
So I can turn on a light with the flick of a switch,
power up my laptop without a thought in the world,
waste the electricity these men sacrificed for.
Some are cursing what John Peter Salley discovered,
in Boone County, West Virginia in 1742;
coal seams ripe with black gold,
there for the taking
to produce half of the nation’s electricity.
But again, is it worth it?
Coal dust and black lung,
poisonous methane gas,
carcinogens all to the frailty of man.
The women are breaking down
knowing they will ever see their husbands again.
Mothers and fathers will have to bury sons
well before their time.
Sadness engulfs the nation
as we all have the same prayer,
“God be with these families, friends and other loved ones,
protect them with your loving guidance, lessen their sorrow,
their hurting, their grief.”
And to the next generation coming down the line,
please hurry with alternative energy sources,
help us break the dependency on coal,
help us stop this unnecessary suffering;
help us stop the pain.