Tonight I Will Dream of the Hoosac Tunnel

The Bloody Pit. 

West Portal sits next to rock filled landslide 

Falling down mountainsides gracefully, 

Spits out glacial water  

Into torrents dug into the gravel.  

Stream leading all the way to her gaping mouth  

Where she waits for me to ask her for her secrets  

And breathe in her cool, mystic wind. 

Hoosac Tunnel, I heard it is perpetually winter in your depths. 

I heard you killed over two hundred men. 

I heard you can still hear them scream. 

Is it true, Hoosac Tunnel, is it true?  

I can feel her pulse, her rattle  

Vibrating off the stone, 

Pulling me into the blackness, 

As she attempts to show me what she knows, 

To show me the men she chewed and swallowed, 

In the belly of the beast,  

In the very womb of mother mountain. 

I’m frightened,  

But somebody has to do this work. 

There is nobody else but us. 

There is nothing in the world that is not this. 

You big plan 

You big purpose, you. 

To transport from Boston, Massachusetts to Albany, New York. 

Second largest tunnel in the world 

Right here in the desolate wilderness  

Etched out of stone via spark. 

That’s big progress they said 

That's some big innovation. 

And I understand that, I do 

A man could lay down his life for a project like that  

And many did, I did. 

But you, at the top, with your wallet and your big dreams, you never had to face it: 

The decline into the pit  

Through the dirt shaft  

Watching the light become as small as the head of a thumbtack, 

And then nothing at all. 

But I did 

So I can say it: 

You'd be lucky if you were killed on impact. 

If you were spared the moment you realized you were dying, 

If you went out like a flame blown to curling smoke. 

You see, there are things much worse than a switch flipped. 

You could have spent your last moments trapped in her stone stomach. 

All alone. 

In the dark.