When you left the house this morning,
I was sitting in my chair,
huddled over coffee and uttering a prayer
that you would come home safely
to sit down in your place,
a smile for me a gleaming
through the coal dust on your face.
You'd reach with blackened hands
like so many times before
to take my own within them
as we sat there on the porch,
and you'd tell me how you love me
and the way you'd thought all day
of the dinner I'd have waiting
and of how I'd always say,
"John, I love you, mister!
You've come home to me again,
and I've waited in my breathing
so I can breathe again.
Now go and wash that dirt off,
and, mind, don't track the floor.
I've dinner warm awaiting.
Set your bucket by the door."
Then I'd heave my old worn body
from the seat where every day
I sit and watch the dirt road
for the cloud that comes this way
when your truck pulls up the holler,
and I watch you as you come
and your eyes light up like diamonds
at the love that pulls you home.
They say you've gone away now,
but I sit here by the door
and watch for clouds of glory
to bring you like before.
Dedicated to all of the grieving families who lost loved ones in the Montcoal mining disaster on April 5, 2010. May God bless and keep and comfort them.