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Lockers in The Dry

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ACROSS WEST PENWITH

Tin miners ascend from their task,
Men share a small space on the way,
A little banter, a few remarks; boots wet,
Clothes heavy; clay, dust, particles, grit,
Granite marking the body; orange-red ore
Staining hands, nails, skin, face; the final shift
In a mirror on a miner’s wall;
Today, a stoper remembers
Tin miners age fast underground…
Rummage levels, concentrate on the light,
Walk the ground through to The Dry,
And soap, showers, lockers – two apiece;
Stiff work clothes take a slap on stone,
And are left, swapped for surface clothes…
Men clock out, going back to their wives,
Their other lives, to themselves alone;
Winds pick up, blow dust past empty barriers,
On toward the sea, stirring and turning memories,
Over the head gear, Victory Shaft.

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