Another scenic panorama
In the rocky mountain area
Deer roam
Bikers ease along winding paths
Here at the Wildlife Park
Where the Chinook winds
Sough from the south
Driving a bit of smog from the
Crowded highways
Onto the super hydrated air
Of the Platte River
And it drifts.
Up to all the Fort named cities.
Fort Collins, Fort Lupton, Fort Morgan, Fort Vrain

Not much has changed over 10 decades
but the winds’ contents.
Millions of Denverites
Carry picocuries
In our lungs and throats
That show up like stars on xrays
Same as the way the plutonium showed on infrared
From Rocky Flats. The name itself incongruous.

A silent agreement within the 3 million citizens
If We don’t speak of it
It never existed.

Yet 200 plutonium laced fires erupted in 15 years

not one of us
remain untouched
Many lost to the radioactive stars.
deer with stars
Just six feet below the grazing deer.
13,000 tons of nuclear waste
Are brought up bit by bit by time and prairie dogs
who tunnel at 8 feet and lower
The soil reads at 650 pico-curies there.
higher than any nuclear test site in the world.
It will for 100,000 years or so.

I live 80 miles from there.
I feel safe. I feel sad. for the earth.
A pop bottle rolls across my feet
As a southern storm brings a rising wind
my pico-curies heart
Stares as it rolls past
Into the beleaguered Platte.

Full Body Burden: Growing up in the nuclear shadow of rocky flats by Kristen Iversen


  1. Common sense says it’s all true, wish it were not, or was not true in our beloved state. I recall all the “jokes” about deer glowing @ night from radiation. Somehow it’s not at all funny. As for the cancer part, I can no longer keep track of the friends and people I know who are gone or still in a pitched battle with the illness.

  2. All through Arvada and into federal heights were the hottest areas. We know so many who were contaminated as the brick houses sucked in the contamination. Roads too, driven many times by semis hauling the stuff away. And the deer? All show intensely high levels of radioactivity in their bones and muscles. A crime. A perfect one. Someone will build houses over it soon because we forget….

  3. WOW – This makes me stop and think. Another friend at church dead from cancer of the brain – funeral on Sunday. The pictures are great – love the mail box one. JW

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