Saturday, 11 May 2013

Missing

I lost you on the bus when
I turned my face
to the dreamy guy
with wavy locks and pale grey eyes
as silver as the
americium-241
which I left in the bag
I forgot.

I lost you on the street when
my thoughts turned to
the cobalt-60 coloured sky
and I tried to recall
that unsealed source of
iodine-131. It  might seem slack but
my head was full of
caesium-137.

I lost you in the park when
my mind was rammed
with handsome men in hazardous
suits, brows furrowed with deep concerns.
Next time I won’t keep my
ytterbium-169
in my lap, on the bench
as I dream of men

with eyes as bold as the
thyroid gland which
absorbed the waste
I lost that day
when I turned my head and
dropped my ball of
depleted
uranium.

© Carolyn Cornthwaite

Radioactive materials lost in more than 30 incidents over past decade

Carolyn writes poetry, flash fiction, short stories and has almost completed the first draft of a novel. She dreams of Booker prizes and a life in France and blogs at wimpywriter.com

3 comments:

  1. What a clever and erudite poem, Carolyn, I am impressed. It points out, through the words of a girl absorbed in romantic dreams, the potential danger of radioactive materials carelessly lost and the damage they can inflict:
    "with eyes as bold as the
    thyroid gland which
    absorbed the waste
    I lost that day"

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  2. Hi Luigi, thank you very much for your comments. I was interested in the way this poem took me, there's a beat that I'm not used to and I think it would be a good performance piece. It's actually slightly autobiographical - I haven't lost anything radioactive but I do have a tendency to leave things on my lap and then walk away. Gloves, phones, hats and my purse have gone that way. Ah well.

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  3. ahaa! Now who' making it look easy? Well written catalog of accidents. A good catch. And, even though the train in Belgium was carrying chemicals when it blew up recently, I find it eerily too close for comfort. Don't drop a word!

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