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Canaries in Coal Mines
By David MacLennan

Wee canaries in coal mines,
Whistle a faint breath.
It's one of the first signs
Of impending Death.

The miners work unaware,
But in silence, they know.
When a whistle loses air,
It's time for us to go.

Retreating on the quick,
Where at the top they laughed.
For they were saved, 'in the nick,'
By wee birds who got the shaft.


From Poetry for the Potty



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