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Mother Jones

by Barbara Eve

She sways
on her soap box,
diminutive figure
with outstretched arms
and a voice that reaches
for the hills.
Colorado sun fires
the mountain behind her,
plating her face in gold.
The miners push closer,
their faces tanned
with the dust
of Cripple Creek.
They listen,
each man seeing
his mother in her eyes
and his dead children peeking
from behind her skirts.
The smoke of supper
trails across the valley.
The men feast on her words.
They turn home
with full stomachs.

Note: Around the turn of the century, Mother Jones traveled across the country organizing miners to strike against unbearable living and working conditions. She became a legendary figure.

 

Barbara Eve will be the featured poet in our next issue. Her poems have appeared in Antaeus and have been included in the anthology Eating the Menu. (Spring 1975)


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