The Way the Wind Blew
©Linda Allen


My name is not important, I'm 45 years old
I am dying slowly, the truth it must be told
I have children I had hoped to raise, work I hoped to do
But now my life is ended by the way the wind blew

Washington's my home and I have lived here all my life
My father worked for Hanford for his children and his wife
He never knew the winds he loved that blew across the plain
Carried death as surely as a rain cloud carries rain

The wind it can blow softly as a mother with her child
The wind it can blow loudly; the wind it can blow wild
But the winds that frighten me the most are silent as the snow
The politicians know these winds and bend the way they blow

When I was four, the plant put radiation in the wind
Called the leak the Green Run--measured with their charts and pins
Who knows why they did it - it's classified you see
But it killed a lot of friends of mine, and now it's killing me

I knew my friends were dying - no one ever would say why
Cancer was as common as the clouds up in the sky
And some suspected Hanford - but the powers that be
Said the plant was safe and we were taught to believe


Now Hanford made the bomb that dropped on Nagasaki
But it wasn't just those innocents who died so horribly
Our death has no meaning, it is hard and it is slow
And it's the same damn government who's murdered us, you know

The great Columbia River you see rolling along
Carried nuclear waste enough for two atom bombs
The cows who grazed this farmland, milk for daughters and for sons
Carried death as surely as a loaded gun


But now the secret's coming out, and lawsuits there will be
But who can give me back the life they've taken now from me?
I'm angry and I'm frightened and I'm tellin' you
The difference between us, my friend, is the way the wind blew

(Written in response to information sent to me by the Hanford Education
Action League)