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Genoways, Ted / Anna, washing
(2001)

Abe, drift-mining on American Creek,   p. 18


Page 18


Abe, Drift-Mining on American Creek
    Feb-1912
Burning pit-fires each night, he picked inches
(maybe a foot) before next day's sundown.
By November, he needed a windlass
to hoist full buckets from the well-bottom,
a rope-ladder to clamber to his tent.
December: he hit bedrock and turned south,
shadowing the creek. Once, he halted-bent
in the tunnel-and listened to wind howl
at the hole's mouth. He gathered his bed-roll,
since then sleeps underground. Sometimes, he dreams
of breaking the surface, but-like a mole-
he can't see. Something blinding says his name.
He wakes-to darkness so total he floats-
grabs the rope, scrambles out into the snow.


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