Thanks to the editors at High Desert Journal, for including my essay, “Atomic Memory: Blue Glow” in their stunning publication. The essay reflects on growing up near the Hanford Nuclear Site during the plutonium production period, and ways it haunts me.
” 1: plutonium-239, iodine-131
Driving east, I’m lowered into the Columbia River Basin, dropped down through fog from Manastash Ridge, and take the road that bends along the river’s banks, past barbed wire fences, a security checkpoint for the Hanford Site. The land stretches towards the horizon, blue hills dotted with taupe and sage, tumbleweeds blown into the fences’ grids, the brittle limbs rounded like a chalice holding the earth’s dust, topsoil’s ash….”