Photograph by Michael Monteleone, (c) 1998

Winter Nights in the Cold War After the Green Run, she said The snow was milky, radiant Beautiful light falling over The sheep, glowing cold and lunar But the moon was new that night Its great eye closed to the vision And still the strange snow sparkled. Next morning after all the snow Was gone, all melted in the sun Those luminous flakes remained Silvery and too bright, too hard Fallout fallen across Montana range Deep in the winter of 1949 When we were all unknowing, All innocent, all downwind. Later came the time she called Night of the Little Demons, When all the sheep were born deformed Tiny monsters, some so twisted Such scrambled creatures she was forced To reach deep in the mother's womb And break their limbs to get them free. Next morning after all the lambs Were gone, all melted in the sun Of our atomic spring, her baby Stuffed her mouth with dirt So full she could not cry out Sat wonderingly in the garden Child tasting, testing the world Holding the warm radioactive soil In her throat, all unknowing, All innocent, All downwind. (c) 1995 Margery Snyder This poem first appeared in Green Fuse, Poems of Witness, Ecology & Dissent,
No. 22, Spring/Summer 1995.

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