A COLLIERS PRAYER
As the snow falls high above the ground
on the coal face, there is not a flake to be found
no snowflakes, as he looks through the dust and grime
wearily humming carols it's Christmas time.
But this Christmas he won't ask for a lot
He'll just be thankful for what he's got
for as he lays far below the ground
with no other sign of life to be found.
 
For an explosion, has ripped through the mine
destroying all before it, men to never again see sunshine
men who are only trying, for their families to make a living
but instead at this time festive time, those families will be grieving.
As he looks around at his friends, strewn all over the floor
a rock fall in front of him, that may be hiding many more
to his left, his best friend lying motionless, he could see 
and he thinks to himself, "by the grace of God that could be me"
As he feels his life ebbing away
he hears the sound of voices heading his way
a knocking on the gloom, he spots a light
 
He hears a voice, he thought he knew
a rescue team had got through
he sees the men in breathing apparatus
"lie still don't move, leave it all up to us"
Soon he is made safe, and then he is hospital bound
as the rescuers still search, sadly no more survivors are found
at pit top with a doctor in attendance
his is transferred into an ambulance.
Safely in hospital bed,
his injuries assessed, he rests his head
as the family gather around
waiting by his bedside, not making a sound
As the family fight back the tears
a doctor confirms their worst fears
"he's very weak, from his injuries
let's make it through the night, and in the morning we'll see"
This night was Christmas eve
a special time, of joy and make believe
and as today descends into tomorrow
here will be joy for some, while for others there will be sorrow
In the middle of the night , that seemed so long
his breathing became shallow, and with a gasp he was gone
with his wife holding his hand, he peacefully passed away
"at least he won't suffer no more", she would later say
In another town, another family were also weeping
another family, who had spent the night without sleeping
suddenly, there came a soft high-pitched cry
at the exact same time, as the old collier said "goodbye"
Into the world, a new baby had been born
just as an old collier had seen his final dawn
as one door closes, another door opens
with families shedding tears, for different reasons.
So, as the baby starts life's long, and bumpy ride
a path an old collier, had once trod with pride
for life is like a revolving door
as a life passes through, it is replaced by one more
But let the old collier not pass by in vain
as his spirit and soul, can be used again
for as a baby touches down, to start life's long ride
let the old collier walk by its side
Silently and unseen, sometimes guiding the way
for these two souls, arrived and departed the same day
for as one went through the in door, humbly heaven bound
another came through the outdoor, to a joyous sound
And as the child is cherished and will grow
the child will feel a warm, protective glow
a glow that is warm and soft, that is there by day and night
like the glow of an old collier's cap light
And if an old collier could have one last wish
may it be to raise his head, to give his wife one last kiss
a kiss that would forever, on her lips linger
for this Christmas, that she would forever remember
So, this Christmas, as you tuck into your turkey
think of others who are not so lucky
the homeless person, sleeping in a shop doorway
the children in a war-torn country, not too far away
 
These children who won't know what it means
to be woken by parents saying "quick, Santa's been?"
 diving out of bed, new pyjama's, slippers and a dressing gown
racing down the stairs, to be the first one down
 
Hurriedly opening presents, with a joyful expression
while the war- child only experiences conflict and tension 
so please as you sit down for your Christmas meal
take a moment to pray, and think how these people feel
And as some familiies cry for different reasons
remember that this is a special season
a season of good will, to men woman and children everywhere
so, from old colliers everywhere, this is a Christmas prayer.

 

Copyright Ralph Jones

 
 

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