On the drive to drop off her child at school,
she glances towards the open-pit copper mine.
Dark smoke is billowing from behind the ridge!
“Oh my god, what the hell is that?” she thinks.
Her husband is at work, somewhere
in the miles of necessary activity
to extract the red metal from gray rock.
She speeds home to call his cell work number,
“thank god,” she breathes, as he answers the phone.
On the road three years ago, two industrial barrels were found,
some sort of painted message scrawled on their sides.
Uncertainty ruled, the word got out, people fled,
the World Trade Center annihilation fresh in their minds.
Her husband came home, her neighbors left,
to stay further away overnight, with relatives,
her family had nowhere to go.
She awoke into the dazzling sunshine of early dawn,
“thank god,” she breathed, inhaling the fresh air.
On the radar of her mind, she picks up the soft sound,
to mining wives all over the town site, it is a blaring alarm.
There are over 2,300 people laboring for wages,
many of their families living in the mine's stepped shadow.
Her husband, this time, is home
as the MediVac helicopter lands at the clinic,
and takes off again, flying over the houses.
She listens, her children arguing over nothing,
“thank god,” she breathes, knowing it will happen again.
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