Hiroshima Haibun

Kenny Tanemura

I tell my student Hiroshima was wrong because the cities were already on fire. He says it was needed to end the war. What about the woman, ash but for the white skin on her back where the baby was? I don’t say my mother hid under a cotton hat made to deflect glass. I say many sides should be shown. Not that my mother only mentions the B-29s as if they were a noble invention. Nor that, in the film I saw last night, a Japanese man wept at his mother’s funeral for being a bad son. After the promise of night was given to him. I don’t say in the margins of his draft that only the woman who was desperately alone, the beautiful one who hid her grief, treated her mother well.

crickets remembered
from the summer solstice

Kenny Tanemura is a graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Purdue University.