What can I tell him twenty-four hours from now

What can I tell him twenty-four hours from now
He will be brought out of the bowels of the earth
The last to be rescued the last and the first
To tell us that life is sweet and
Fresh air and daylight they come at you two caring hands
In this and in no more God has become an engineer a rescue worker
If man was created for anything it is for this
That he stands under the sky his wife and children beside him
To see this man rise up hard and strong as a rock
Here is a man to keep a millpond in his mind chooses to look at a rough sea
A man who is a crowd the same and all waiting to be rescued
For our hope and this crazy bad timing
It’s not sunshine that awaits him
But a dull wet wonderful day a day
So placed to give life without taking it
For the man for the first time seeing the sun
For this we are placing our hands on the earth
What hope does when it hopes there is heartbeat to be felt
The depth that will bring forward this man
Has created for itself a voice
A voice that wants nothing more
Than to be heard above ground
In twenty-four hours a country will surface a miner
That miner more precious than the pit and its gold

Ronald Rae

4 thoughts on “What can I tell him twenty-four hours from now”

  1. In response to your poem about the Chilean miners trapped and with great patience and ingenuity released from their underground hell I watched fascinated as one by one they shot up in their incredibly tight shuttle. So many people around the world watching the pictures as a part of the Chilean desert was brought to everyone’s attention which only live television can do. I was in Chile in 1992-3 and what an amazing and remarkable country I found there, so civilised and cultured, separated from other South American countries by the Andes and sometimes referred to as the Britain of South America. ‘Onces’ (elevenses) in the afternoon with cheese and savouries including varieties of maize based dishes, a sense of liberation as Pinochet stepped aside, who was responsible for the building of a long highway, and lush fruit and vegetables and very cheap, fine wine. It seems incredible to me that every one of the 33 have survived and am reminded of the fine intellect of the Chileans.

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