Red Moon Rising

Coke Ovens on the Mononghela (2)

     Tears flowed like a downpour on a hot summer day. All around, Jennifer could see the wives of the miners in Swift Creek Mine. Earlier that morning, an explosion trapped eight men in the far end of the shaft. Three of Jennifer’s friends were among the women anxiously awaiting their fate.

     The siren on top of the tipple sent shrill chills through the little coal patch. At times like this, the whole neighborhood rushed to the mine for word of who the trapped miners might be. Those whose husbands were safe, stayed to give comfort and support.

A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills of the Monongahela. Jennifer could only wonder when it would be her time to weep; having a husband and son who worked there.

     Everyone went silent… as the men were carried out… one by one!

Painting of Coke Ovens and Mine: Dwight L. Roth

Prosery today at d’Verse: Lillian gave us the challenge to write a flash fiction of exactly 144 words that includes a given line from Carl Sandburg’s poem, Jazzy Fantasia . The line I included was A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills…  This story comes from memories of my childhood in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  Many lives were lost in the coal mining industry that supported our steel mills in Pittsburgh at the time.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Chillin’ on the Wall

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Guineas are odd looking birds. I understand they are very good security guards and will make quite a racquet if strangers come around. I saw this pair on the wall of the Martin, Pa. Post Office when I was there last September. Martin is what is left of the coal mining era when coke was king. Coke ovens burned all along the railroad tracks. This is tiny post office for this small coal patch. Only a few of the original houses are still there.

A pair of Guineas

Chillin’ on Post Office wall

Walking in the rain

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth