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Mountaineers, Mountaineers!

By Harry Katz

I’d slit their throats, man.

For what they’ve done to us.

To this town,

To the planet.

God you know I still got the AR,


I’d do it tomorrow.

Sid can’t shut up.

This conversation has gone on ten years,

Never done us any favors.

Sid slits no throats,

Kills no coal barons.

He makes the car hotter each breath.

If it ever cooled off out here

And the air was clear

And the mountains had their tops back

And the UMW hadn’t had its back broken

And my lungs weren’t pock-marked/pierced/scarred/shot through with

Coal dust/carcinogens/cans of nitrous oxide,

Then, maybe, I could rouse a battle cry,

Grant my friend the lone mercy of a chorus.

In the sticky darkness I grab his wrist.

He’s gone silent now, but I never wanted that.


Harry Katz


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