Friday, April 06, 2007

Mt. St. Helens 2004 - present

The images are everywhere. The lava dome
framed by snow; the plumes of ash and steam
brilliant in April sun. White glaciers overlook
the city in tranquility, hiding magma heat.

The shadow of this brightness: Nineteen-eighty.
Half a mountain gone in seconds. Pyroclastic flow,
forests leveled, lives swept away, a lake destroyed
towns hundreds of miles distant choked in ash.

The city skyline changed forever. Old-timers
look over their shoulders and mutter in mistrust—
you never know, you never know when she’ll
go and blow up again, the mountain next door.

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