If you have never heard of "the Aberfan disaster" of October 21st 1966, then this poem will make little sense to you. But for many generations to come, children of South Wales will be told of this awful tragedy. Although it occured 21 years (almost to the day) before I was born, growing up in the local area makes this an emotive subject. RIP to the 144 people who died that day.
Y Plant Bach a Y Aur Ddu
(The Little Children and The Black Gold)
Little children in the morning air,
You can hear them shout and play,
Laughing as they skip arm in arm,
On this, just another school day.
But a black monster is looming,
It’ll silence their sweet voices,
All because someone far away,
Has made some stupid choices.
Little children, don’t be afraid,
When the blackness takes you.
Remember that you are not alone;
It claims all your friends too.
Fathers are busy there digging,
And mothers are too shocked to cry.
The bodies are carried one, by one,
As the village begins to die.
Rosy cheeks are whitened now,
And hidden under the black.
Nobody wants to believe,
The children aren’t coming back.
For some children it’s a burden,
They will have to bear,
The lucky ones who got away,
And the ones who were not there.
Slag. Waste. Leftovers piled high.
Now a generation is gone.
The morning air is quiet now,
For you won’t hear their song.
A generation now is gone,
And a village had to say goodbye.
In a parody of the classroom desks,
The gravestones side by side lie.
Too much work to move the waste,
Now the village has paid the cost.
Children young and teachers too,
Never forgotten, but still lost.