A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
Two more Maryvale kids dead of leukemia.
In Tucson they’re trying to suck the TCE down
to “acceptable” levels. In Kingman it’s poison gas plants.
In the San Pedro, nitrates at Apache Powder
sulfates at Bisbee Junction. In Goodyear, chromium.
Up on the rims of the Canyon, up on the Strip, down
at Twin Buttes and next door at the WIPP site it’s
uranium again despite the Rio Puerco
still hot as hell from mill tailings spilled in Gallup
back in the 70s—not to mention Chernobyl,
TMI, Navajo miners dead and dying,
the tests they ran on babies, draftees and everyone else
downwind (seeding clouds over several states
to see where and in who and in what quantities
it would show up). And meanwhile, back on the farms
in Mesa and Yuma the DBCP still there in the wells
to shrivel the balls of migrant workers. The fish downstream
from the Phoenix wastewater plants and them old cotton fields
rotten with DDT, metals and dioxin.
And then they tell us the new hazwaste incinerator,
even with the subsidies, can turn a profit
only if we let them burn out-of-state wastes.
Talk about Gross National Product: they think
even toxic waste should be a growth industry.
Put that in your smokestack end-of-the-pipe dream,
weigh it against the growing national deficit,
the growing number of badges, busts and privatized jails,
the growing jobless homeless hopeless sickness rate,
the growth in exemptions from uncle’s infernal revenue organs,
the growing gap between the filthy rich and the rest of us.
Copyright 2013 Michael Gregory. From Mr America Drives His Car published by Post-Soviet Depression Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Michael Gregory lives in Arizona.
The Ellendale site in Western Australia — one of many abandoned uranium mines around the world