A Suffocating Sadness

The rollercoaster of emotion in West Virginia has left us all sick

They were so sure
in Upshur County,
but the upshot is
they sure were wrong.

The song they sang
when the church bells rang
was prompted by a premature
assumption of a miracle.

From the news the families were given
(that all but one were livin’),
it appeared that once again
God had stared death in the face
and made the Grim Reaper blink.

But the grim reality
told another story.
No glory this time.
Just the gory details
that those who’d clung to hope
and then credited God
with a incomprehensible outcome
had been given the shaft.

Those in the mine
were not fine as first thought.
All but one were dead.

Instead of inexpressible delight
there was unimagined despair.
In a moment of time,
the air went out
of the celebration balloons.

And for the coal miners’
daughters and sons
and wives and sisters
and grandsons and granddaughters
and grandpas and grandmas,
the surreal scenario succeeded in
stealing their joy.

It took their breath away.

And thanks to CNN,
this suffocating sadness
isn’t theirs alone.
It has impacted us all.

We all have
a lump in our throats
the size of a chunk of coal,
not to mention
the hole in our souls
that bleeds for those who died
and grieves for those who grieve.