Poetry from Harlan

After completing their third week of service in Harlan, KY, the Gap Semester students tapped into their creative side and created a poem to describe their experience.  Check it out below!

Harlan Poetry

On october 1st, to Harlan we went

A week that we know was very well spent

Katie joined Steve and the 15 of us

The new addition was definitely a plus

Learning about art, culture, and history

All things that before were once a mystery

Everyday miners search for black gold

Letting go of everything they hold

Wandering off to work in fear

Missing the ones they truly hold dear

Willing to put up the necessary fight

To make the horrific conditions right

Inhaling clouds of blackened dust

Thinking if this is really a must

Struggling just to put food on the table

Contemplating if he is even capable

Working each day towards a better life

Receiving in return nothing but strife

Sometimes even going on strike

Getting reprimanded to go take a hike

After the long cramped day is over and said

They can finally rest their weary heads

Harlan, Kentucky the coal mining sites

What struggles they had, they look to the lights.

Seeing young people struggling to flee

Wanting to rid themselves of the coal company that forbid them to be free

Her sad, grey eyes darkened by the coal dust

Still remembering the joy of years past

A day  in darkness for pay soon paid back

To men who are letting their lungs turn black

The mountaintops are being destroyed

While coal companies are overjoyed

Coal mining destroys the hearts of miners

But coal companies say they’re just whiners

Destroying the people’s home and land

Coal mining is something more people should understand

We did a lot of sight seeing and driving

To learn about those who were mining

Going to the community two-step

Blue grass music and a giant food fest

We went to a museum to learn about coal

Then went down to a mine and looked in a deep dark hole

Wiley’s Last Resort: the greatest place on earth

A beautiful  fire ring, to whom we gave birth

Playing basketball and bonding at night

Then helping Harlan to make it alright

Meeting people with a deep sense of pride

And Exploring new culture with wide open eyes


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