Carbon Dated

It’s a story as old as the hills:

Transplanted by love
from the suburbs
to the back hills,

she barely remembers
nine to five
or the splendor

of a dinner party
where the cutlets were veal
not venison.

Slender as the poker
she uses to stoke the coal stove,
a sapling has become an oak.

Frayed but regal
in her expertly patched dress,
everything matches now–

the burgundy sofa, the blue chair,
dresses, slacks and shirts
all muted by the great equalizers,

time and anthracite,
that nefarious pair that leave nothing
untouched in these hills.

No need for clocks,
the expected whistle sounds;
day shift is done at the mine.

She touches a hand to her hair,
smiles as her heart trips a glad song–
he will be home soon.

13 thoughts on “Carbon Dated

  1. Sarah,

    I don’t even know what
    anthracite is, and not certain about nefarious, but I stepped right into this perfectly patched piece. Why I am wearing it.

    Okay, I will exhale now.


    1. Deb,

      Thanks for reading my poem. It was written for a friend who gave up tenure at a major university and married her childhood sweetheart who is a coal miner. The poem celebrates the beautiful side of life in Appalachia or anywhere that love blooms even when life is hard, sort of like a flower blooming out of concrete (I will have to ‘dig up’ the poem I wrote about that : ).


      1. Oh yes, please do. I think I have one too. I just love this poem. Everything about it. From the first two words of the title to the final thought. “Home soon.” Simply sophisticated, iridescent and pure. D

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