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Friday, June 22, 2012


by Gail Thomas

A year after the earthquake that
triggered a tsunami and cracked
reactors in Japan, a researcher
said, We were kind of startled,
by the mighty bluefin tuna
carrying radioactive
contaminants across the vast
Pacific to our shores.

Swimming breakneck over
6,000 miles of ocean, the fish
sought a spawning ground
and scientists waited
for some rough beast gliding
toward Big Sur.

Years ago I camped among
the wildflowers of Big Sur
with my lover who came from
 a small New England town.
She died at 31 from
a brain tumor as did others
in her town down river
from an old reactor.  Last week
a 90-year-old woman
chained herself to
its rusted gate.

Gail Thomas has published two books of poetry, No Simple Wilderness: An Elegy for Swift River Valley (Haleys) and Finding the Bear (Perugia Press).  Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Calyx, Hanging Loose, The North American Review, The Chiron Review, Cider Press Review, and The Prose Poem Project. She has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Ucross.