Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hiroshima shadow

I'm not certain why
maybe it's my own
reluctant recent
education in mortality
but often lately
when I see leaf shadows
on concrete
under my feet
I think of someone
whose humanity fled
outside human memory
a little after

eight o'clock
on a clear
August morning
in 1945
on stone steps
where they waited patient
for the Sumitomo Bank
to open
I wonder that
their shadow
in a blinding instant

of radioactive heat
would outlast them
and resolve
each time

to remember that
that scientific curiosity
is an
artifact of a life.


Angelfish said...

I remember as a child reading in textbooks and seeing pictures of that little girl crying and running naked down the street because her clothes had been vaporized. I thought how scared and sad she must be and I wondered where her parents were.

As an adult, the thought horrifies me at how easily we can all push the red button these days, and then simple change the channel.

coyote said...

An appalling episode from Viet Nam, that one. Same idea on a budget. Proving, I suppose, that there are many scales of barbarity. And that we somehow need to find small, constant, daily ways to remember the victims.

I'm not sure what happened to her parents, but the girl in the photo fully recovered with a great deal of help, is now a mother herself, and has become, not surprisingly, a peace activist. She lives in Ajax, near Toronto...

adi said...

yes, that was 'napalm' angel fish. but not all the stories end like that. especially at hiroshima and nagasaki. perhaps they didnt even begun...
great brevity of words coyote, take care.