Audio: Gary McCormick poem for Pike River miners

19:36, Nov 24 2010
Joseph Dunbar
JOSEPH DUNBAR: 17, the youngest of the 29 men to die in the Pike River mine.

Gary McCormick reads his poem 'Seventeen' written for those who died in the Pike River mine. Click left for audio.

SEVENTEEN  (In memory of Joseph Ray Dunbar and all those who died  in the Pike River Mine.)
Joseph Ray Dunbar was just seventeen.
One week ago - turned seventeen.
No doubt had a few drinks out
with his mates.
He'd been through a rough patch, someone said.
Who doesn't ??!
A boy from the Coast,even-eyed.
But he's gotten a job now.
New boots.
The making of him, someone said.
You get a lot of respect with a job.
Couldn't wait !
Probably had his lunch packed.
The unlined face, the big smile.
Probably had a way with the girls.
The local girls.
Couldn't wait !
The local girls are wearing black.
Mothers and sons and husbands too.
He probably ran the last hundred yards....
Joseph Ray Dunbar.
Climbed aboard and headed on down.
A smile and a wave and a joke amongst men.
The biggest day of Joseph's life.
You caught the train, Joseph.
You took the train too soon.
You caught the train before your time.