flea-festering frenzied pale rag of a dog tearing flesh finding soot scratching frantic wavering whisper over a wash of coal
and the woman carbon copy of her soot sisters mover of minerals sorter of soil heaps fueller of furnaces fuelled by dubious promise of shilling shimmering dangling doubtful dragging the slack** down the tracks
an encounter of chance wammel*** and wench wandering Clinker Country****
Footnotes * "Pit bonk wench" is Black Country dialect for a woman who worked moving waste coal on colliery pit banks ** "slack" is a type of coal ideal for stoves and furnaces *** "wammel" is Black Country slang for "dog" **** "Clinker" is waste coal
Mary Senier is a 26-year-old psychology graduate from the Black Country, England's coal-stained core. Her work often centres around ideas of place, identity, and disability. Previously, she has had two poems published by Abergavenny Small Press. Her work will also be featured in upcoming issues of Opia Magazine, Re-Side Magazine, and The Alchemy Spoon.