WHAT RESIDES THERE
“Dear Diary, today is April 26, 1986. I haven’t written in a long time. Today was pretty good. We had some hail. In the Soviet Union something blew up and so radiation is floating around.” –my diary entry, age 11
When St. Helens erupted, my brother
filled Jiffy jars with water,
placed one in each of our bedrooms.
Did brothers in the Ukraine do the same?
As I watched the news flash footage
of Chernobyl’s smoke and flames,
I pictured myself there
filling jars of water, placing them
on nightstands and under beds.
It occurs to me now how the word
here is always part of there—
the way loved ones live
inside me like stones at my core,
the way we nestle inside one another,
curious and unafraid.
c. 2002 Courtney Putnam