The night Floyd Massie took me underground
into a float-dust chaos and the scattered dice
of coal chunks we swerved to miss, on south to
double-cribbed No. 2 Entry where he worked
as a bolter, I remember the shadows from our
cap lamps discoing on the gray shale roof,
flickering across fossils of ferns and giant horse-
tails, a black mosaic of drowned forest.
Thirty years past and I recall Floyd’s tedious
joke about the dull bits being as sharp as me;
I remember “Too much damned torque!”
And I cannot forget his upcast bearded face,
arms lifted against the falling kettle bottom,
like God trying to separate light from darkness.