By Rachel McCarren
Exeter, PA, 1959
When the mine tunnels collapsed,
the river dragged fistfuls of horses into its depths,
uprooted trees and swallowed train cars whole,
trapped a hundred men inside and drowned them in darkness.
Now, the river carries the miner’s bodies back to the surface.
They float belly-up below the docks. Their dead eyes shine
like so many dimes wasted at the bottom of a wishing well.
I wade in knee-deep with the other miners’ wives.
We sift their lovers from the black water, lay them out in a line.
When my eyes finally rest on the shoulders of my father,
I go deaf. I cannot shake the sight of his body,
bloated and bound by willow weed, face-down in the creek.
Rachel McCarren‘s poetry has appeared in The Honest Ulsterman, Lupercalia Press’s debut anthology Vulcanalia, Anti-Heroin Chic Mag, The Unexposed Mag, and more. During her MFA at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA, Rachel studied summers at Trinity College Dublin in IE. Rachel is currently based in Pittsburgh, PA, but she plans to permanently relocate to Ireland with her Irish partner within the next year.