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Smith Mine

Saint Paul, 7 July 2006
Smith Mine is located east of Red Lodge, Montana

Goodbye, wives, and daughters, we died an easy death, love from us both, be good.
  ~ Signed Walter and Johnny, February 27, 1943

Old Bone’s right hand severed clean
by Sunday’s rail-load of Bearcreek coal
A left hand left to tote a bamboo canary pavilion
Its succession of deranged birds done us no favors

Some 8,000 feet below sage covered hills
Mr. Smith’s goodwill collapsed to coal powder
Sons and fathers etched farewells
On the pocket walls of number three vein

Sobbing voiceless this wicked calamity
Our ears ringing, we trimmed our lamps
To smother ourselves breathless
Before the nether world