Tin Mining

By Matthew Sweeney

Instead of climbing the wooded hill
you should descend into the tin mine

that hasn’t been used for twenty years.
Be sure to take a hard hat with a light

and wear hiking boots. Avoid any
attributes such as belts or braces

that could snag on any rusty metal.
You won’t need to bring a canary

for this kind of mine, but bring a small
pickaxe – there’s still tin there if you

can locate it. Imagine the homemade
jewellery you’d charm your woman with,

say a brooch with the old three hares
circular motif. Take a bottle of Cornish cider

and a Toby jug with your own face on it
to celebrate – howl out a local folk song,

then climb out to round up some tourists
for the dance called the Tinners’ Rabbit

involving sticks and a complex rotation
you’ll have to learn and teach the others,

after which you can all retire to Zennor,
and The Tinners’ Arms to drink more,

shouting out toasts to the Queen and Duke
of Cornwall, and anyone who takes your fancy.