After Hiroshima

by Liz Rose Dolan

Each day in school we vow to die
for Hirohito, file past his icon with eyes cast down
as if nine suns might blind us. Even in dreams
his white wings blaze. When we hear his voice
–an ordinary voice like any other –
It can’t be helped
we are struck dumb except for Rika who mimics it exactly
–a twelve year old in tattered shorts
speaks with the voice of a deity–
Now dry-mouthed
we fear rutted stones in a dismal swamp,
fear tears slipping into rank tea,
–fear fear itself–
Broke like bent reeds,
we wish to extinguish ourselves
as the golden kite
spirals
to the quivering earth,
as the chrysanthemum’s petals crimp brown.

 

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Filed under Issue 5: The Far East, Poetry

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