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Saturday, 11 May 2013


I lost you on the bus when
I turned my face
to the dreamy guy
with wavy locks and pale grey eyes
as silver as the
which I left in the bag
I forgot.

I lost you on the street when
my thoughts turned to
the cobalt-60 coloured sky
and I tried to recall
that unsealed source of
iodine-131. It  might seem slack but
my head was full of

I lost you in the park when
my mind was rammed
with handsome men in hazardous
suits, brows furrowed with deep concerns.
Next time I won’t keep my
in my lap, on the bench
as I dream of men

with eyes as bold as the
thyroid gland which
absorbed the waste
I lost that day
when I turned my head and
dropped my ball of

© Carolyn Cornthwaite

Radioactive materials lost in more than 30 incidents over past decade

Carolyn writes poetry, flash fiction, short stories and has almost completed the first draft of a novel. She dreams of Booker prizes and a life in France and blogs at


  1. What a clever and erudite poem, Carolyn, I am impressed. It points out, through the words of a girl absorbed in romantic dreams, the potential danger of radioactive materials carelessly lost and the damage they can inflict:
    "with eyes as bold as the
    thyroid gland which
    absorbed the waste
    I lost that day"

  2. Hi Luigi, thank you very much for your comments. I was interested in the way this poem took me, there's a beat that I'm not used to and I think it would be a good performance piece. It's actually slightly autobiographical - I haven't lost anything radioactive but I do have a tendency to leave things on my lap and then walk away. Gloves, phones, hats and my purse have gone that way. Ah well.

  3. ahaa! Now who' making it look easy? Well written catalog of accidents. A good catch. And, even though the train in Belgium was carrying chemicals when it blew up recently, I find it eerily too close for comfort. Don't drop a word!