Eulogy of a Miner | Teen Ink

Eulogy of a Miner

May 27, 2022
By xarqirm PLATINUM, Louisville, Kentucky
xarqirm PLATINUM, Louisville, Kentucky
20 articles 1 photo 3 comments

I am a writer.
Though only in secret.
(My pen name gives you amusement; it gives me meaning.)
I write words - flowing words - of soul pouring heart pounding passion. The kind we’d debate from the darkness of night to morning. I had taught myself to write because They believed I could not.
But you did.
Visit me when you can, won’t you?

A million years from now and a million years more, our voices have been silenced!
They sit there, in their high golden chairs, helms bequeathed with heavy jeweled crowns, muttering and shaking as they spit about budget cuts and import while we horde at their pedes, clawing up to them as they shake our grips free, nothing but a burden to them. We are slaughtered upon their crystal staircases, sputtering diseased froth with dying optics. How many bodies did you bury, O Illustrious Council! How many more have to die before you undeafen yourselves!
Our voices are tearing, screeching, writhing in our mob of horror, begging on the steps of the Council for change, change for our decaying world! We are the mass of laborers, of drug addicts, of gladiators, the stinking, rotting poor - the people that are the cogs that run the machinations that is our machine of oppression. They believe us not noble, not bold, not beautiful enough - too overworked and under-repaired that our minds do nothing but loll and drone, waiting for the scraps to fall off their table for our hundred hungry mouths. We are not dogs! We count our days, our numbers, and we outmatch them a hundred to one! We are the cogs that run the machine that is our planet! We are the very spark that breathes life, we are the very essence of hope, the very meaning!
I call you, people! Take action now!

I miss you.
You’re overworking yourself.
Come home.

They tell you that your purpose in life is based on the luck of caste. They tell us that we cannot read, we cannot write, we cannot think, we cannot dream – not unless we were born into it. Here I am! Here I am, writing because I want to, thinking because I need to. They fear our thoughts, our thinking, our ideas that bubbled from the poverty they forced upon us. They fear that we will find time to hate, hate and hate and hate, hate them, hate this system, hate our lives! Let yourself be angry! Let the cold hand of fury tighten its coil around you. Do not dispel your hatred! Weaponize it. Let them hear our cacophonous voices screaming for them until they no longer can hold their hands over their ears and shield their eyes. Let them see the face of justice they dearly call themselves, righteous justice that curdles and billows and corrupts. That kills and murders and takes all that we are and all that we have. Let yourself feel your hatred!

Do you remember what happened yesterday?
We had wandered the dark streets of Kaon.
Neon-stained grime smeared all over the streets.
You still called it beautiful.
You said it in my tongue.
I miss you.

You are being deceived.
Headlines, news articles, the whisper on the streets.
You are being deceived.
Do you hear them? Can you see them? Their lies slip between the cracks of our society, down to the core where it pools and festers. It is the very wound that turns our home brittle under the breaking backs of us workers, under the skies we miners never see under our unquenching blood-soaked hands dripping endlessly as the “illegal” death matches rage on. What lies have they told us, made us hope for something better never to come? Is that not the worst crime of all? Hope?
They dare to tell us we are deceiving each other, that we do not know ourselves? They dare to claim they know the lives - our lives - when they walk amongst their pagodas and frivolous parties chattering about how terrible it must be, how awful. How we’re bringing ourselves to our own destruction. They dare to know us better? How many of us have been elected for their precious Council? How many petitions have we raised only for them to dismiss? Open your optics! They do not see us, they cannot see us. Their claims are hollow, their words dismissive. They cover their optics and audials and speak rhetoric handed down to them on silver spoons and they dare to say:
You are being deceived.

Sometimes I resent you.
Sometimes I…

You are home tonight.
You came back.
I had not meant for us to be walking down this road.
It was not my intention to stop at a fortune teller’s shop.
I was surprised she didn’t wheedle us for money or shove showman’s tricks down our throats.
Do you remember what she said?

You sighed after she did. You turned away.
Your smile had been sad only where it met your eyes.

“You can’t have everything,” she told me.
Why didn’t you disagree?

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