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On this spring morning
everything seemed quite normal.
The earth did grumble a bit,
and sent tell-tale wisps of smoke
from fissures on the mountain
many miles westward.


But here, dawn was bright and clear
heralding another day…
Sunday, a day of leisure,
one to be enjoyed;
a day of worship,
one for which to be thankful.


The early morning
bursting with voices…
birds singing their songs;
muffled voices of neighbors,
heard but indistinct;
the sounds of traffic,
from the highway to the south;
a lawn mower starting up;
a dog barking right next door…
normal voices for Sunday.


Then a deadening silence
seemed to swallow up the earth.
The voices were silent
and the air was quiet, still,
no whisper of wind.
Birds were not flying
nor were they singing.
The dog hid under the porch.


Dark clouds moved in from the west,
covering the sky,
bringing an eerie darkness.
Udder-like appendages
laden with volcanic ash
hung below the clouds,
sifting out fine ash
to cover the landscape
and burden the roofs of homes.


Mount St. Helens had spoken,
pushed aside man's monuments,
and declared her sovereignty.