Mining for salvation 


Boulder, Montana, deep tunnels, 

carts gone to rust, radon mine.


Lured by promises to cure,

we've both come to be saved.


You, polioed at eighty, arthritic,

half blind. Me, rogue son, fifty,


forgiveness on my mind.

We sit far back, not talking,


lantern lit, shiver in unison

to water dripping like my lies


off lime -- shift side to side

at far ends of a cedar bench.


Others murmur, hoping nearby.

They pray five visits give back life.


Can I warm you, Father,

keep the chill off bones?


You don't hear, or do 

but don't reply. I draw hood low, 


pull strings noose tight.

Recommended stay, one hour.


You hobble out after four.

I sit alone all night.

                             Timothy Pilgrim