The water doesn’t know
why it has been beckoned to swell and rise,
rear up high and crash, carrying destruction in its surge,
destitution in its wake.
The uranium atoms don’t know
why they have been pressured unbearably
to split and heat and vaporize the water,
yet they split; they have no choice.
The people don’t know
why the magma of the earth sighs, groans, and shakes as if in troubled sleep
to beckon and push
Nor do the people know,
in their newfound respect for the magma and the water,
why they were once so sure that they did know
how to tame an atom
that they made wild.
The people on the other side of the ocean don’t know
that the atoms, bleeding radiation, are even now crossing the water
to visit their shores, their rivers, their drinking glasses.
“ The World Health Organization stated that a 2013 thyroid ultrasound screening programme … found that more than a third (36%) of children in the [Fukushima] Prefecture have abnormal growths in their thyroid glands …” (Wikipedia: Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster)