a yellow, steel man cage,
held twelve men.
i was one of them.
suspended over a 400 ft. dropshaft.
like the innards of a spider,
a one-inch steel cable on a drum,
like the thread on a spool,
the crane lowered us to the depths
of the deep, deep tunnel.
at 50 ft., the smell gets in a man's nose.
dankness, dynamite powder, rock dust.
I can still smell it.
carbon monoxide, diesel fumes.
i looked at the faces.
haggard, tired, red, bloodshot eyes.
saw the stickers advertising companies,
dynamite, tools, on American Bridge hardhats.
metal lunchboxes, thermos bottles, cigarettes...
dangling from chapped lips.
we went down.
not to see sunlight.