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Trying to love Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

First I will honor your name. Just as
those colonists first used, then abused
then tried to exterminate those whose
land they coveted, so you squat leering
at our homes, our bodies, our air and water.

Can I eat your plentiful pollution? Do
the fish and the humpback whales shine
from what you exude into the waters
of Cape Cod Bay? Can I imagine
your spent fuel rods where they pile

in the pool built for a fifth of them
leaking, always leaking poison,
as so many fallen soldiers? As
Tootsie Rolls clumping together?
As fallen angels putrifying?

If only we could see your radiation
as Northern Lights, we could enjoy
as we bathe in it. You loom like fate,
all manner of ailments cooking there
bestowing cancer like alms.

You are an equal opportunity
destroyer: seniors, toddlers, women,
men, visitors, folks with McMansion
summer homes, coywolves, cats,
horses, chickadees, osprey. Your

towers loom in our nightmares
but like peasants under castle walls
harvesting crops the lord will take,
we’re indentured to Entergy Inc.
that will turn life to eons of death.

Marge Piercy is the author of eighteen poetry books, most recently The Hunger Moon: New & Selected Poems, 1980–2010 (Knopf, 2011). Her most recent novel is Sex Wars (Harper Perennial, 2005) and she has just published her first collection of short stories, The Cost of Lunch, Etc. (PM Press, 2014).
2015, Volume 66, Issue 11 (April)
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