As Hope, As Reminder

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday – Hiroshima Day 2019:  A Reflection on Peace  (posted by Frank Tassone)


Shigeo Hayashi [Public domain]

“Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Last year, we commemorated this memorial for Haibun Monday (August 6, 2018). Just like last year, the city of Hiroshima will once again hold its annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.

Let us again write our own haibun to commemorate Hiroshima! This year, however, let us focus not on despair of nuclear holocaust, but on hope born of rising from the ashes!”


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony & Peace Message Lantern Floating Ceremony

The child looked everywhere, craning his neck, unable to believe
he was alive, standing in the center of ashy destruction. His ears
rang with hurt. His shirt was torn, his arm battered–droplets of blood
patterning his skin as if he had lent his body as a canvas.

The child found his sister and aunt. Three people overjoyed to see each other.
Later, they were to discover that 90% of their city was gone. Initially 80,000
people were killed, and more followed poisoned by radiation.

peace memorials
places for people to gather
hope and reminder

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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21 Responses to As Hope, As Reminder

  1. A harrowing tale of survival amidst the ruin. I like the evidence of hope arising out of the randomness of survival!


  2. kanzensakura says:

    Beautiful. I am surprised they did not die of cancer or leukemia from the bomb. Indeed, the memorials are places for people to feel hope


  3. msjadeli says:

    Miracles amongst hell’s destruction. I agree, the remembrance is for the fallen and for reminding what weapons of death can do.


  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    I found a subtle link between the child “craning his neck” and the paper cranes of hope. Probably cancer caught up with all three of them, but it was hope that initially reunited them.


  5. Fleur McMorrow says:

    Very sobering–thank you for this post.


  6. rothpoetry says:

    An interesting story! There is hope it seems in every sad event that happens.


  7. kim881 says:

    The details of the torn shirt and ‘droplets of blood patterning his skin as if he had lent his body as a canvas’ are harrowing, Sara.


  8. lillian says:

    An excellent write.
    We were in HIroshima not long ago and saw the “atomic dome” — what it is called now. The remains that still stand to this day…but now in the beginning of the walk that leads to the Peace Garden and the Peace Museum. It is a place of quiet horror and beauty and hope — all of those things, in one place.


  9. dragyonfly says:

    as years go by, things are forgotten and new generations come along and are not sensitive to the lessons learned of their forbearers and if we forget our lessons, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. the scale of death and destruction from this act of war was beyond description. your halibun/haiku captured It well, with the descriptions of skin as canvas for blood, and unbelievably finding living beings in the carnage. Thanks for sharing.


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