WHY I WRITE – Michelle Bitting

WHY I WRITE ~ Michelle Bitting 

In the Mining Shaft

The ladder down is rickety
and swoons, each rung a bent bow
under heel. The air thickens;
its black dream seethes. Mansion
of many dooms, chained doors
quicken, haunted, rupture breath
as the lamp-heart flickers, a yellow bird
swaying in sync. I don’t know
what I’m looking for, only know
it is more precious
than coal or gold. Some days
I think I won’t clock out,
won’t heed the weakening canaries,
resurrect or compose myself
in that cold, dim light. I’m lost
if I am anything. Deaf
to whistles, the land-lark cry, click
of my empty lunch pail,
its skull licked clean.