Once more, upon these graves
Without a corpse
Where grass now grows
And folding chairs in rows – 
We sit respectfully
At break of day
And try to fan
The flames away.

Only cicadas scream
And clouds of smoke
Rise as our foes’
Housewives and children rose;
Rising, too, memories
Threaten to choke,
Such leveled dreams
As they evoke.

She did not burn with them
But she was here – 
Her ghost with theirs
This cemetery shares
And all their horror, thirst
And agony
With my new grief 
Explodes in me.

– Jessica Reynolds Shaver


4 thoughts on “Nagasaki

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