January 5, The Single Worst Industrial Disaster in the History of Mankind

almost thirty years
and one month
on December 3
during a year named
after a George Orwell novel
I was born
hurled into this world
from whatever came before
and thrust into the loving arms
of a farmer’s daughter,
a naval officer,
one overly protective sister

…and a REALLY BIG dog

methyl isocyanate
started leaking from
the Union Carbide pesticide plant
in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
killing more than
8,000 people outright
and injuring
over half a million people

the final death toll exceeded