This Poem is posted for
|Smoldering Fires, Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1904-2000 |
Columbus Museum of Art
Framed in black and gold, stifling in her blouse
of sweet flowers, sharply creased and sooty.
Her hair washed fresh and tightly bound to show
a dignity and pride she treasures still.
Her eyes a black, like coal; mirrors of the
Soul she tends with prayer and supplication
To her God of hope - and light, and mercy;
She craves sweet rain, fresh breeze to clean the air.
Her child, dressed in sunny yellow, coated
With the soot of black porch boards
He tread on, barefoot, to come to Mother’s
Arms, his feet in folds of dark burnt umber skirt.
Across the tracks where rumbling coal cars roll,
Fires burn perpetually in seams
Of rich black gold, snaking through the mountain,
Smoking mounds of refuse coal abandoned.
A stilllife of America’s old dream:
New vision of a future without oil.
She has more coal than any place on earth.
Change, too, will wear a frame of black and gold.