Imagine the first light
bouncing pebbles down the shaft
staining the walls like tears
on grimy unwashed faces.
The body does not like darkness
ask the 33 swallowed in the mouth
of earth’s hushed tones.
Devoured but not digested.
Imagine the display of cosmic fireworks
embers burning through strata
trickling rivulets into the permanent night
that cradles these men.
Would they delight in this interruption
feel joy to discover a sun
which heretofore had ignored them?
Would there be relief, like the puncture
of a swollen wound
finally allowed to heal?
Would the fresh air carry in its breeze
the joyous voices from the hilltop?
We can only watch the flags flutter,
brilliant colors in sunlightand hope.