I’ve sent him into the bowels of the earth, the miner.
I, with my appetite for the shiny and the new.
I, with the luxury to look away.
His dusty lungs are a hacking rebuke:
How much does a thousand-dollar computer cost?
The poet plumbs the depths of his soul;
The miner sweats in the explosive darkness.
Physics strives to uncover the order of the universe—
What law explains injustice?
When I speak of the grandeur of the cosmos,
The mystery, the wonder, the exuberance,
Do I include the labored breathing of the mine?
The telescope sees stars, galaxies, black holes;
What of the lives our bliss has trampled?
I will elevate him to the light, the miner.
I, with my arrogance.
I, with my elevated sense of self.
Yet his squinting eyes do not see the Saint;
Tomorrow his powerful hands will drill again
That his family may live to eat another meal.