Black Swan

Black Swan

by Eveline Pye

Somewhere close, nuclear warheads trundle down a potholed road and I am concerned that,
though they say the risk is low, no one says what low means and though there may be
a number trapped on a hard disc, no one knows if it’s even halfway near to being right.

Then there’s the internal report for the shiplift at Faslane, for when it cradles
Trident submarines, I worry they had to black out their own best guess so we don’t know the chance
of a platform collapse, or plane crash, fire, explosion, or even being peppered with plutonium.

It’s as though the MoD believe disasters won’t happen to them or us, as if they believe
all swans are white, because every swan they ever saw was white, as if they think
they understand the fickle migration of birds while beyond their ken, a butterfly flaps

its chaotic wings, the wind changes direction and somewhere far away a black swan
takes to the air, lifts its heavy body upwards, defies gravity and soars above us.
Invisible in the night sky except for its blood red beak –

a
dark arrow
coming towards us
changing everything.

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