Coal Town

It’s open link night at dVerse tonight, so I thought I’d repost an older poem for the occasion.

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.

Ryan Stone

First published in Eunoia Review, July 2016.

Winner of the Goodreads Monthly Poetry Contest, August 2016.

First Place in Poetry Nook contest 101, November 2016.

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71 thoughts on “Coal Town

  1. “This town will know my bones…” ~ So moving & evocative, Ryan! You really transported me to another world with this one. Well-deserved as always. Congratulations! Power to your pen ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the publishing! This is wonderful, especially with the picture. When I read this,I get the feeling like this coal miners dust, and debris from the coal mine covers everything and everyone in this whole town; as if it’s choking them. Keep up the great work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Please Help! | days of stone

    • Hi, Marcella. Thanks so much for your kind comment. I love to hear when a poem connects. You’re most welcome here – I hope you’ll find more that you like. Thank you for taking the time to leave me some feedback-truly appreciated. I’m glad you managed to get away 😉

      Like

  4. “black peppering
    blue, going someplace” … I love this.

    “This town
    will know my bones.” … This is so awesome alone, but then the added layering of “Condoms” makes it even more interesting.

    “boredom breeds
    but breeding’s a trap, a twitch in the smile” … So good.

    “after they closed the movie house down. Smoked
    the joint she’d brought back from college” … Your line breaks are the best!

    That closing. Oh my word, you’re REALLY gifted.

    Liked by 1 person

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