Cedar City High School Class of 1960 Blog

Shadow Children

 

(A Poem by Diana Lee Hirschi for the 2015 Art Access Project)

(Nevada Nuclear Test Site, 1987)

I.

I stumbled across them

Late one night,

Returning to camp.

Two life-sized statues,

Plaster of Paris,

Kneeling in the desert,

One white, one black.

Like the vaporized children of Hiroshima.

Left in the desert by an artist

From California.

An offering, a statement.

II.

One twilight, at the shrine of the Shadow Children

We gathered for ceremony—

Prayers, chanting, singing—

Afterwards, past cactus and creosote,

We walked down to the Line,*

Frank played “Blues for the Test Site” on his saxophone.

III.

Decades pass, the Shadow Children––

Sun-bleached, crumbled, scattered––

Nearby, a circle of rocks, under each a photograph,

Yellowed, faded, the edges curled.

Relatives, dead from radiation––

Once bright and fresh

A fisherman in a red cap,

A child with golden curls,

A farmer in blue overalls.

Diana Lee Hirschi, April, 2015

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