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The Explosion

On the day of the explosion
Shadows pointed towards the pithead:
In thesun the slagheap slept.
Down the lane came men in pitboots Coughing oath-edged talk and pipe-smoke Shouldering off the freshened silence.
One chased after rabbits; lost them; Came back with a nest of lark's eggs; Showed them; lodged them in the grasses.
SO they passed in beards and moleskins Fathers brothers nicknames laughter Through the tall gates standing open.
At noon there came a tremor; cows Stopped chewing for a second; sun Scarfed as in a heat-haze dimmed.
The dead go on before us they Are sitting in God's house in comfort We shall see them face to face-- plian as lettering in the chapels It was said and for a second Wives saw men of the explosion Larger than in life they managed-- Gold as on a coin or walking Somehow from the sun towards them One showing the eggs unbroken.

by Philip Larkin
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