My father’s family came from Cornish mines
Leaving that dreary landscape and darker pits
For Australia and the prospect of gold.
I am not sure if they found that much,
But at least they mined it in the sun.
And they shed the miner’s collar
With education, not a lucky strike.
With the sun so purchased they understood
That only learning kept one above the ground
Until my father, best and brightest of them all,
Aspired even higher – and failing
Took his life rather than be sent down.
At Heathrow, my throat catches on the fog
And buried deep is some dread still
Of return to some wet and deadly hole.
Poem about my family, my father’s suicide, my own sense of purpose.