Read Poetry: Black Ankle Road, by Peter Venable

POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film.

“The day President Harding died, Paul picked me up
in his Ford Model A Pickup. We worked
the gold mine near Franklin Mountain. I swigged
A & W Root Beer, chewed Slim-Jims. Paul rolled
a cigarette, then we rumbled toward the mine.

That Thursday, another cloudless day, sweltering. No breeze.
Hot enough it’d about wilt tobacco. Bearable 100 feet down.
I picked and shoveled rocks and dirt into wheelbarrows.
A few young bucks toted them, dumped into a large bin
attached to ropes. Mules pulled it to the surface.

Hell, we might get a few cents per ton. I must’ve sweated a bucketful
by quitting time. Most miners had no shoes. Damp black soil
stained our bare feet over our ankles. Locals called us ‘Black-anklers’
but shopkeepers didn’t mind our money. After work
that Thursday evening a few of us miners climbed

on a foreman’s truck and he drove us…

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