The Coalman

By Scott Bailey © 1999

With his faithful tartan cap, its bobble flicking black dust into the air.
Holding in that tousled and already greying hair.
With half hundred weight of coal to deliver down the street.
With his smiling green lorry, tiny windows at his feet.
Walking up the narrow path, a smile upon his face.
Care worn lines deep with dust, crisscrossed like living lace.
Bringing warmth to many homes and our own.

Now the coal has gone but the lines remain beneath silver hair.
Hands hard and black with oil and years of toil and loyal care.
Has no wealth and all wealth one could want within his soft brick walls.
Always ready to respond to our lost and stranded calls.
Tall as a tree and as strong against every withering storm.
A mere spanner in his hands his wonders to perform.
Humble, with every reason to be mighty proud.
With pride these words should be read to all aloud.