Laura Sweeney

Directives On Line of Sight Clean, Otherwise Known as Dirty Closure

Veteran #2 Q43. Concerning the final closure of Rocky Flats what should be done with the site?

Knock down all the buildings. Push concrete in extra holes. Bring in ten thousand truckloads of dirt to pile on top of it. Spray it with green stuff that turns into seeds and flowers. Leave everything else in the ground. Don’t take out the piping. Don’t take out the drums. Or the floors. Or the basement. Scrape it all off ‘til it looks like there’s nothing. Throw three feet of dirt over it and call it good. Let people think it’s a high-level clean-up. Let them envision picnicking or playgrounds, golf courses or car lots, or miniature zoos. Let them envision houses. Never mind what reports or sampling they do. For the people who drive by, they won’t see anything. Maybe deer, bunnies, field mice, coyotes, raccoons. Like nature fixed the problem. Stick big signs up to show what a great job you did. To where the public and the antelope can roam. Then move. The last thing you’ll know is that it was a nuclear site. You just buried everything.

Laura Sweeney facilitates Writers for Life in Iowa and Illinois. She represented the Iowa Arts Council at the First International Teaching Artist's Conference in Oslo, Norway. Her poems and prose appear in sixty plus journals and twelve anthologies in the States, Canada, Britain, Indonesia, and China. Her recent awards include a scholarship to the Sewanee Writer's Conference. These docupoems are based upon research she conducted while working for the Ames Laboratory Dept. of Energy. She is a PhD candidate, English Studies/Creative Writing, at Illinois State University.