Fay Slimm.

Sad Reminders


Sad Reminders

Hinterland littered with shafts,

now covered, old flat lodes

make for summertime pleasure

on Cornish site-seeing strolls.

Paths, hand-stoned make easy

walk-ways but were levelled  

for carts heavy with mine waste

when boys, backs rope-bound 

heaved rock for mere pittance

to topside from below ground.


Pits leave cries of youngsters  

who unfitted for hours  

harness-trapped in forced 

labour met tragic ends by

thoughtless indifference to

vital  child-nourishment.

Heartache dis-colours mining

heritage with much bal-maid 

and pit-lad abuse that grieves 

with sad reminders of ruthless 

shift length when weary to death

young feet stumbled homeward

eyes half-closed and foodless

to fall asleep clothed before 

pit bell\'s harsh calling again,

Tough on youth when pits grew

richer on misuse of the poor.