A Miner's Tribute of No. 21 Mine

by Virginia L. Hughes

Coal Miner
Coal Miner

Loud roared the blast inside the mine
It cracked, growled, and howled,
Like noises found in a large town or crowd
Rock and dusk went floating by
Blacker than the darkest night
And through the drifts of dark powder
It sent a terrible dismal sheen
As past and present shapes appeared
I think the shapes were men
Struggling to escape
They were someone’s kin
But the dust and coal was all about
Here, there and all around
Silent screams seemed to say
No way out, no way out…

Coal Collections
Coal Collections

My daddy said, son there’s no use,
You can’t go in,

With tears in his eyes
My brother replied

Yes dad, I’m going in,
I’m bringing them out,
My friends, my kin.

My Corner of Memories
My Corner of Memories

True to his word, he did what he said
For he was a mighty good man
He and the rescue team worked hard night and day
But it didn't turn out as he had planned,
Hopes to once again
Embrace their family, their friends
Turned to sadness in the end

Hearts were broken
Tears fell like rain
On that cold, grey, December day.

Past Collections
Past Collections

The days and years have slowly passed.
But the memories still cause pain
For the many friends and families
Of those great men, those thirteen.

Memories Gone
Memories Gone

On December 8, 1981, an explosion at No. 21 Mine killed 13 miners who worked for the Tennessee Consolidated Coal Company. Many of these 13 were young men just starting their life with new families. For the many family members and friends that sad day will never be forgotten.