Men of Steel

Honouring the Relationship Between the Steel Workers of Port Talbot
And the Burns Unit at Morriston Hospital


Our faces say it, the steel’s in our blood.
Born to the hot mill, to slag and to sinter,
to the towering furnace, the bosh and the hearth,
we know the cost of continuous casting.
The dust’s in our skin, and so is the heartache.

When she blew, when she rose up like a dragon,
to twist and blast out her terrible scream
of molten iron and fiery burden,
it was here they brought us, seared and raw,
as they had brought us so many times before.

The Lady stands for the druidic line
that runs back to the healers of the past —
but she’s also the hand, rising from the lake,
to pass on the sword, and with it the strength
to witness, to join, to bind, and to endure.


William Ayot
March 2017