Lost teas / February 2011 (Issue 13)

Hiroshima... A Woman Talks to a Reporter

by Bob Bradshaw

There's no need to stand on ceremony.
We'll drink and talk. The moon's face
is as swollen and as disfigured tonight
as mine was the morning the sun burst.
Thrown to the ground, I squirmed loose
from a fallen beam. I was frantic to find my mother.
Outside I found a dirty dusk.
People everywhere were pleading
for water, water.
Strangers, naked or half-clothed,
wandered the street.
Everyone had blistered faces
and many passed like sleepwalkers,
black streamers of flesh
hanging from their limbs.
The river filled with bodies,
I waded across.
Somehow I made my way home
but Mother wasn't there:
she had left early to shop in Hiroshima.
Here, fill your cup. Write my story.
Some days, despite this bloom
of purplish spots beneath my skin,
I swear I only dreamed that day...
Do you like your sake warmed?  
I do.  It's as if I'm sitting
in a winter hot springs, the cold
hidden behind a veil
of mist.
(First published in Verse Libre Quarterly, 2005)
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.