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I Try to Remain Unconscious

by Alexis Carpenter about a month ago in Advocacy
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An ode to coal miners serving their country - Godspeed.

I try to remain unconscious

In West Virginia, graves are for the dead but they are also for the living.

They come as soot

Covered thick as lies sold to their soul

They brush it off

These are the lessons taught

Coal and Jesus.

"Hearts of hallelujah, we are saved!"

Coal and Jesus.

The first pays the bills

The second claims the glory

"They don't know no better. They only know the mine."

At the swing of their pickaxe

Slice my own throat wide open

So I no longer bear witness

Them slowly picking away at their own

Let blood drain to crimson pools from my porcelain neck

Not so different from black shadows shaping within his lungs

Let all my blood run

Spangle the stars of the flag with dollar signs

Strip the stripes and bare the chains confining the working class

I do not want to remain unconscious

I will not let my country bury me.


About the author

Alexis Carpenter

A Sociology major from Colorado University at Boulder, Alexis Carpenter writes to better understand her own personal thoughts and opinions on issues that matter to her, and with hope, to the greater community.

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