The ceiling, floor, and walls are white in coal
Mines, dusted to keep down the carbon dust
That could explode. The men dig out this hole
To light the world, the nodes and networks crust
The earth, are photographed from space, a lace
Of light that glows the boundaries of our trust.
Asbestos powder fills the air, a brace
Of heat held off by these stone fibers, steel
That glows and pours. The men make steal to trace
Out cars and planes, skyscrapers, rails which reel
Into the future, make for us the wealth
Which we enjoy, yet somehow fail to feel.
The cost is cancer and black lung, bad health
For those who let us live in luxury,
Our tragic heroes who live lives in stealth,
And do not ask for much more than we see
That they gave up their health to meet the goal
Of making all the flows that make us free.