Poem: Marie Curie Remembers Radium

"Fireflies  Inside" by Alfredo Camargo.  Digital fractal posted to DeviantArt.com in 2009..


Dew on periwinkles
moon-bathed high plateau
Pierre in a French window

eyes clear with abandon
dreamer lost
in his reflections.
Light always lured me.
How can it surprise you
I was seduced
a gram of blue glow
coaxed from tons of pitchblende?

I tell you the instant of my calling:
uranium salts kept in dark for months
and black paper shrouded
exposed a photographic plate.

You assume
that radioactivity's escape
from the shroud fascinated a girl
who had lost her mother too young--

a girl, who even before the hacking cough,
noted her mother's avoidance
of kiss
or even an embrace.

Don't. As much as I mourned
and stiffened to others' touch
and even banished God
I tell you

a glass case, graceful instruments,
amber, silk, the gold-leaf electroscope;
I must have been only five
yet, I remember my father's tools.

light always lured me.