I was sixteen when that mountain of muck
Roared with the sound of the worst hurricanes
Rushing from the mountain top above Aberfan
To consume the life of a school, of generations.
I was being kept in silence in a dark room
And knew nothing at all of that place
Or that small children were drowning
In the slurry storms black torrent
The blackest news was kept from me.
My lungs were drowning me and I was fighting
For my own life. I make no comparisons.
The old priest sat at the side of my bed
Gave the last sacrament, words I barely heard
I was more concerned with the pain
Of taking the next breath and if the next
Would be my last or the pain would come again.
But I survived bed ridden through winter months
I was told my lungs were free of scarring
And in spring I was allowed to walk the mountain
When life is on the edge of a knife’s sharpness
The sun looks different, light has changed
The air of nights darkness has another meaning
The anniversary of the tragedy is near.