Something that will be familiar to many families in Scotland and beyond….
Father was a Miner
My father was a miner,
He worked deep underground;
The rush of drams and clanking chains.
They were his daily sounds.
He worked so far below the ground,
Where coal was hewed by pick,
The work so hard and wages small,
He didn’t dare go sick.
He crawled upon his belly.
In drifts so low and narrow,
The wind it whistled down the shaft.
It chilled him to the marrow.
He ate his food from a Tommy box,
Shaped like a slice of bread,
While squatting down upon the ground,
Where spit and crumbs were shed.
His water, it was in a Jack,
to wet down clouds of dust,
That gathered in his throat and lungs.
Where it formed a deadly crust.
We would listen for his footsteps,
He then come into sight:
This man, our Dad, as black as black,
just like the darkest night;
His bath was always ready,
Set down in front of fire,
My mother then would wash his back,
and tell us to retire;
Right down his back white rivers ran
amongst the dirt and grime,
But you cannot wash away blue scars.
That you get down in the mine.
Years now have passed. My father gone,
But I am proud to say,
My father was a Miner,
Until his dying day.
by William Holman
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