Three Mile Island Woman

by Judith Trustone

In remembrance of the 2011 anniversary of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster and its relevance today, I’m posting “Three Mile Island Woman” which was published in a variety of places, none of which I’ve recorded. When friends who were sailing around the world stopped for a while in New Zealand, they saw the poem in a New Zealand magazine and then took it around the world with them; because the whole world was shocked and talking about Three Mile Island, just like today.

Home again
sparkling kitchen
shag carpet hiding
paranoia … breathed
dreamed just around the edge
of every moment.
She stares at the glass
In her hand eyes searching for atomic
particles swallowing
fear she drinks
water.
Dust dancing in sunbeams
looks menacing.
Afraid to breathe eat sleep
she covers her swollen
belly with sweaty hands.

March 28, 1979

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