Sunday, January 20, 2019
The Late Years Twelve
Photo taken by Sanford Herald reporter Kathryn Trogdon back in April 2015, before a hearing for permission to dump coal ash in Lee and Chatham County. Two people in this photo have either died in 2018 or are sick with cancer now.
The Late Years Twelve January 20, 2019
Mediation? Find a middle ground?
There is no such place. We were
wronged. They forced killing ash
on us, sent it through the air off
their trucks and trains: arsenic, lead,
Chromium Six, Silenium, radioactive
ash. Tiny invisible particles we’ve
breathed in that went straight to our
brains, leaked into the groundwater,
poisoned the earth where our wells
were sunk centuries ago. Babies,
the unborn, our elderly, at risk, and
this land has been poisoned many
times before by the old Cape Fear
Steam plant, by the particle board
manufacturer, by the company that
made seatbelts. Ten factories along
the Haw and the Cape Fear Rivers.
The trains and trucks roaring past our
homes. We could not leave. We had
no money to leave, and who would
want what we loved: our homes
belonging once to our ancestors, back
to slavery times? Once there were
plantations, and before that, land
grants. Now mainly factories here,
thousands of workers, a few homes.
Down our two-lane roads the trucks
come and go, leaving their poison.
The wind blows, the water moves
above and below ground. We have
been sacrificed. No more! You got
into our midst. Now, leave, but before
you go, clean up your mess.