I broil deep within, tiny pieces of myself breaking down and building up, releasing heat. The cost of this heat is disorder, as the spark within me slowly dims over the course of years. The world around me boils, as humankind stacks up another layer of steel to encase me. I build up pressure, roil beneath my steam, become powerful, unstoppable, critical, super-critical –
encased in steel rods,
I no longer scatter neutrons
such that others die.
I avoid prompt criticality, and Chernobyl is avoided once more.
This is for Colleen Cheseboro’s weekly Tanka Tuesday. This week, the prompt words were ‘energy and vigor.’ This reminded me of the scientific difference between ‘energy and power,’ which is why I chose to write a Haibun from the perspective of a nuclear reactor core.
Incidents such as the one depicted happen extremely rarely. I am admittedly pro-nuclear power – it’s one of the few current technologies we have to stop the onslaught toward global warming and give ourselves a few more centuries to figure out something better.