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Volume 26, Number 7 — July 2019

Tipple Town

By Edison Jennings | March 27, 2019

1
The Church of Zion’s pews were filled,
and fifteen sinners testified.
The pastor prayed for miners killed.
The Church of Zion’s pews were filled.
The reborn praised what God had willed
while miners’ children knelt and cried.
The Church of Zion’s pews were filled,
and fifteen sinners testified.

2
The coal dust settles everywhere,
and fish are dying in the creek.
Mama thinks death’s in the air.
The coal dust settles everywhere.
Now Daddy drinks and doesn’t care
that mining made his lungs real weak.
The coal dust settles everywhere,
and fish are dying in the creek.

3
You don’t see children anymore
in this exhausted mountain town.
What folks remain are mostly poor.
You don’t see children anymore.
All the schools have bolted doors
and Onyx Coal has been shut down.
You don’t see children anymore
in this exhausted mountain town.

American Journal of Poetry Reprinted with permission


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Topics: L, Literature, Poetry