January 8, 2018
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                      Hibakusha (1)

                            ? (2)

Her head shakes sadly, Shikata ga nai (?????) (4)
“We drove to Hatchobori, my son in my arms,
the car grew dark, I jumped into the sun,
there was no light, but the light glint of glass,
his skull a mess, my hands slick and wet.”


They say they saw a pika (??),(5)
and then--Boom!-- they heard a don (??). (6)
The towers screeched, shattered, became chips of china,
then all fell silent in fear and desperation.


He sighs at his nails, still black, still a kiseki (??) (8)
“The river brought relief, cold pierced my scorched skin,
his soles were peeling, raw red muscle showing.
I made him crawl, we ran on our arms, our legs, our heels,
until we got home, bodies both cracked and wilted.”

They woke to darkness, silence, lumps in their throats,
the houses hung limp, now rubble flat on the floor.
Each foot pounded slowly to the beat of a drum,
drumming their funeral song and march to safety.


She watches her fingers, watches them dizorubu (?????) (10)
“and then came the smoke, suffocating hope,
a whirlpool of fire, tornado of flames,
everything burned, everything dry,
and then the city’s black tears fell from the sky.”
Trapped by our mistakes, etched into every wall,
shadow silhouettes forever watching.
Unrecognizable faces, frozen in time,
their names foreign, but never forgotten.

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