Letter From Santa: 1986, Chernobyl
Dear Boys and Girls,
I had to write,
I couldn’t just not come.
I am not well, not Santa.
I want to take my bone knife
Carved for me by the little people
Who follow the herd –“aello”, they call it,
“What one lives on”-
Plunge it into my wasted belly
And spread my entrails, dark, on the snow
For the little poisoned polar fox.
I, who was your pilot! I, the driver
Who grasped the blue and blood-red reins of the Aurora
As we slid down the dark ways of the Universe,
Pulled by the shining reindeer of the Sun!
And every year I gave you back the Magic,
The gifts of Light and Life, this loaded sled,
I should have been alarmed at your dysplastic fetishes of me,
Stuffed red men in the marketplace!
When you collared the Dugong, and tied his leash to a satellite
I should have stepped between!
And, when you spitted species, filigree of millennia,
In the cathedrals of the rain forests
Without one look into their gold-green eyes-
Not yet even baptized with your names-
Alas! I kept my cursed eye fixed on the nail of Heaven.
But now I will stuff my foolish beard into my wound
And, screaming the new names of my reindeer:
“Now, Krypton! Plutonium! Cesium! Xenon!
On, barium! Iodine! Strontium Ninety!”
I’ll rush through your walls, swinging my ice axe,
Stuff your stockings with radioactive lichen
And throw myself, sobbing, into a mass grave at Kautokeino
For twenty four thousand years
Until the isotopes retreat.