Posts Tagged ‘40 years ago’


Forty years ago today – May 18th, 1980 – Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington State, killing 57 people, including one of my dearest friends, her husband, and her two young children. Most of those who died were camping in the supposed “safe zone” around the mountain. No one imagined that the volcano would explode sideways to the north, ending the lives of those who thought they weren’t in danger. (100 miles away in the Seattle area we heard two explosions, like sonic booms.)

Barb was always full of laughter, always saw the funny side of life. The poem below was written shortly after her death.  (This is a re-post.)


Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, at 0...

Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980


(In memory of Barbara Pierce Morris Seibold, 1947 – 1980)


You laughed above the heads

of those who couldn’t see

your wings,

but those of us with vision

always flew along with you.

Even in the rain

you’d soar above the mud

with a smile and a wink.


But just this once

your takeoff was too slow —

St. Helens grabbed you

in her smoky claws

and with one spicy belch

she burned your wings away….


I found a bird

the cat brought in,

buried it

in forget-me-nots,

then heard your laughter

rise from the dust

and fly

to the curlicue clouds.



(c)1980, 2020 Betty Hayes Albright



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