May 18th

by Carolin Messier



Today is the anniversary
of two traumatic events,
one of a grand, cosmic scale
and the other intimate and personal.

35 years ago today,
Mount St. Helens
erupted violently, spewing ash
that blew through several states
swamped rivers,
and destroyed enough trees
to build 300,000 homes.
I still remember the feel of the air
the grey dust everywhere
and the feeling that I
could no longer trust
the earth to be still.
I was 13.

10 months ago today,
William McClure
fired a single bullet into his head
that instantly ended his life
sent ripples
that shocked and grieved many
and destroyed our loving home.
I still remember the officer’s voice
the stunned friends’ faces
and the feeling that I
could no longer trust
that love was real.
I was 47

In these 35 years
I’ve felt the firm earth,
I’ve felt it shake,
and I’ve learned that
it is the earth’s doing
not mine,
and I walk without worry.

In these 10 months
I’ve felt the warmth of love,
I’ve felt its loss,
and I’ve learned that
it is love’s doing
not mine,
and someday my heart
will open once again.