Linda is the host of dVerse today. Linda says:
So today, fellow poets I want you to write about life sustaining water, in any of its three forms- solid, liquid, or gas. You may write in any form you choose, this is a Poet’s choice prompt.
I would love to write something positive today about water, as it is a miracle substance that keeps us all alive. I cannot pass up an opportunity to write about a real-life horror story that involves water. It’s a long post, but I hope you’ll stay with it until the end.
From wikipedia: The Flint water crisis began in 2014, after the drinking water source for the city of Flint, Michigan was changed from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to a less costly source of the Flint River. Due to insufficient water treatment, lead leached from water pipes into the drinking water, exposing over 100,000 residents to elevated lead levels.
The Flint drinking water contamination began in April 2014 when Flint changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water (sourced from Lake Huron and the Detroit River) to the Flint River. Officials failed to apply corrosion inhibitors to the water. As a result, several problems occurred that culminated with lead contamination, creating a serious public health danger. The Flint River water that was treated improperly caused lead from aging pipes to leach into the water supply, leading to extremely elevated levels of the heavy metal neurotoxin. In Flint, between 6,000 and 12,000 children have been exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead and they may experience a range of serious health problems.
On 11/29/11, “After the city declared a state of financial emergency three weeks earlier, Governor Snyder appointed Michael Brown as the city’s Emergency Manager on November 29, effective December 1.” This, effectively, removed representative government from the city of Flint. Snyder appointed these Emergency Managers to several cities around the State of MI. These managers reported directly to him.
In 10/14, “Flint’s General Motors Truck Assembly plant discontinues using Flint tap water due to corroding engine parts from high levels of chlorine.” What’s interesting is a brand new pipeline had been built for the GM plant to hook up to the clean water, while the residents of Flint were forced to keep drinking the toxic water from the Flint River.
In Flint, their hair is falling out,
Baby corpses birthed, lead sinkers.
Unlucky neonates will live,
Cranky and rash-covered, suckling grey
from anemic breasts.
Chemically altered, Neanderthals
who will club their ways to prison.
Orphaned by then as their kin have
Disintegrated, bit by bit.
Forgotten as the iron bars clang shut.
400 parts per billion. Lead that is.
Governor Snyder’s chicken scratch
on official sheets of shit allowed
toxic rivers to flow from faucets
while fountains of youth percolated
towards the auto factory.
Destroyed kidneys and livers
Snyder walks free, his smirks continue.
“One tough nerd,” was his campaign slogan.
Obama visited and said he’d drink tap water.
He was offered a glass of it.