by Philip Larkin
On the day of the explosion
Shadows pointed towards the pithead
In the sun the slagheap slept
Down the lane came men in pitboots
Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke;
Shouldering off the freshened silence.
One chased after rabbits; lost them;
Came back with a nest of lark's eggs;
Showed them; lodged them in the grasses.
So they passed in beards and moleskins,
Fathers, brothers, nicknames, laughter,
Through the tall gates standing open.
At noon, there came a tremor; cows
Stopped chewing for a second; sun
Scarfed as in a heat-haze, dimmed.
The dead go on before us, they
Are sitting in God's house in comfort,
We shall see them face to face -
Plain as lettering in the chapels
It was said, and for a second
Wives saw men of the explosion
larger than in life they managed -
Gold as on a coin, or walking
Somehow from the sun towards them,
One showing the eggs unbroken.
RIP Pike River Miners