Aberfan: Death Came Sweeping in that Day



Aberfan : 9.15 October 21st, 1966.

Valley shrouded in slate-grey mist
days of rain seep into coal waste.
A rumble, a warning, on its way,
as children sing in school assembly.

“All things bright and beautiful,”
but all the creatures really small.
Not too long all will be dark,
boy is late plays in the park.

Thinks he’s in trouble, but must linger
as Father Time points a finger.
Sudden landslide slips as slurry
on its way, in a hurry.

The thickened, Bible-black lard,
aiming for the old school yard.
Mrs Evans hears a rumble
Takes in washing, starts to mumble.

Hates the weather thinks it’s thunder
dark skies make her stop and wonder.
A hush sweeps over the village school
no more play time to act the fool.

In the silence no child, no bird,
no more sounds can be heard.
A dark day plagued with heavy rain,
as victims were Coal-Board Slain.

Death came sweeping in that day
In Aberfan it came to stay…

[L. Rees]


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