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My father was a coal miner, sent down the pit at fourteen, until he escaped in the war to the navy. He said that he carried us all on his shovel; and I remember him reading D H Lawrence, who also grew up near us.

Arthur Lawrence to his wife Lydia

You say my nails are dirty,
and I say they are the nails
of a working man, and these
nails are on the fingers
of a working man, and these
fingers are on the hands
of a working man, and these
hands are on the arms
of a working man, and these
arms are on the shoulders
of a working man; and I carry
you all on my shovel as I dig
for the coal that stains my skin;
so milady do not disdain me,
for though I be a working man
Iím not ashamed of what I am.

© D G Moody 2022

Poetry by D G Moody
Read 189 times
Written on 2022-08-04 at 17:53

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thank you
I wish I had the strength to be such a working man!
it is with such men, than a family can rise

I love the idea of a family being provided for by the toil of his shovel, that is a fantastic phrase. Hard graft for those you love. I can see him walking in after the pit, weary, hungry, clothed in a coat of coal. His good lady shoo- ing him to the tin bath.. brilliant concise writing

And nor should he be. Working class folks are the backbones of every great nation.

Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
The words of a wise man.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Good one, Dougie.