I have always been fascinated with diagnostic procedures that use radioactive elements. I love to write poems about many aspects of science was inspired to write this one on technetium.

Element 43
hexagonal close-packing
      crystal structure
      silver fox of the table

Wavering in amongst
the cooling red giants
an occasional S, M or N star
      showing off stellar nucleosynthesis
      traces of Tc dredged up
revealed to us in the spectrum

Technètos: ‘artificial’
first element produced synthetically
      found rarely inside the earth
      radioactive fission product of uranium
no mark of it in our bodies
this group 7 maverick fierce to its core

Mendeleev knew
this transition metal
should be in the periodic gap
could feel it in his bones
      squeezed between molybdenum and ruthenium
      lowest-number of which all isotopes are radioactive
separated from its kin

Tc-99m in its lineage
a metastable radioactive nuclear isomer
excited, used for medical imaging
gamma ray emissions put to great use
bonding with cancer cells
highlighting damage of the heart
      scanning brain,lungs, intestines, blood
its short-lived,half-life of six hours enough to do the trick

      spent nuclear fuel rods
      glowing with our possible futures

About alicia sometimes

Alicia Sometimes is an Australian writer and broadcaster. She has performed her spoken word and poetry at many venues, festivals and events around the world. Her poems have been in Best Australian Science Writing, Best Australian Poems and more. She is director and co-writer of the science-poetry planetarium shows, Elemental and Particle/Wave. Particle/Wave has had sell-out shows as part of Melbourne International Arts Festival and World Science Festival Brisbane and is touring in 2019.