Poems by Vernita Hall

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Full-Day Tour of Chernobyl

One of the most radioactively contaminated sites in the world: the 1000 mile Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Exclusion Zone in Ukraine, around the site of the reactor explosion of April 26, 1986.
Found poetry” text excerpted, in order, from a tours webpage1.

by Vernita Hall

From Canary Spring 2017

Vernita is a lifelong Philadelphia native. In her northern neighborhood of old houses and quiet streets, Kwanzan cherry trees, azaleas, and rhododendrons glorify each spring.

Low Price Guarantee!
Explore the Exclusion Zone
You are welcome to spend
maximum time inside
see an open-eye experience
Expect some changes
       abandoned houses and barns
       an almost fully buried village with
       a kindergarten
       a Red Forest
       The first and worst fall-out:
       the town of Pripyat
       populated by 50 thousand people
       before the evacuation
       The fire fighters and NPP workers
       badly affected by
       a river of consequences
       a correction point, ruins of culture
       for the Prypyat youth
       Ferris wheel in the amusement park
       which was never open—
       a disaster

       After explosion: giant catfish
<Giant secret>
Tour includes radiation
and personal departure

Necessary information
(unlikely to be confirmed):

in case of
       eating, drinking, and smoking in open air
       touching buildings, trees, plants
       eating mushrooms, berries, fruit, and nuts
       in forests of the abandoned settlements
       sitting on the ground
on persons there is
a 100 percent cancellation

1 “Full-Day Tour of Chernobyl and Prypiat from Kiev,” Viator, 20 Oct. 2016.

Subject to Contract

by Vernita Hall

From Canary Summer 2017

Anticipating man's
      as steward

our script includes
      extremophiles and cockroaches—
just in case
      we interrupt this broadcast

A quick commercial break
      and we recast—
before we've lost
      our target audience

A seamless exit
      is preferred
There will be
      no curtain calls no encores no refunds
      no cast party (No catcalls, please!)
      no reruns no residuals no syndication
      no press release

We may have to wrap this up
      sooner than later
      his contract
faster than
      man's anticipating

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