Blue ghosts lingering above Hiroshima’s dome
While hideously scarred faces wander below.
White doves circling a lone statue –
Sadako, arms stretching outward to release
A crane that joins the flock of peace birds,
While thousands of origami cranes litter the ground.
Silent onlookers remember loved ones lost
As lanterns, fragile warm-yellow swans,
Glide across the cold, black waters.
Families placing rice cakes on altars for spirits…
For the blue ghosts, for Oba Chan –
And now, for Sadako, too.
Atom bomb bringing mushroom-shaped cloud,
Bringing sickness and taking children
Oh, so slowly…oh, so slowly.
Hoping the gods would grant her wish, she labors,
Thick, swollen fingers making fold after fold.
Exquisite paper cranes hang from hospital’s ceiling.
Her family waiting, watching, wondering
Who will be the next to join Oba Chan.
It should not be the children…
It must not be the children…
It will not be the children…
Struggling with clumsy fingers to make one more crane.
She lives in our hearts,
She triumphs over Death.
All over the world
Making paper cranes…