The Linnet's Wings The Winter´s Tale, Ravens and Robins - Page 58

The Winter´s Tale mining towns in the high plains. And I visualize that I am with him: A Santa Fe locomotive diesels its cars into Chloride, Arizona; the late afternoon sun still hanging over sagebrush, glints off the coal-car’s cargo—anthracite, always shiny, its cleaved faces like lit diamond. Empty cars are filled with a new cargo. The train will haul away chlor-argyrite—the mineral on top of weathered veins of silver ore. Great grandfather says the silky cubes of crystal, the pearly gray to brown ones, are pretty rare, but the massive, stalactitic columns are more common. At times, he sounds more like a geology textbook than a miner. But he is a miner. I go with him and others to the mine. Halfway down the mineshaft, the ground grumbles, threatens to swallow all of us at any time. Then walls crumble, pinning our elevator. In the middle of prayer, he stares through hazy acetylene light 58