At 8:15 a.m. some 65 years later,
Birds perch on the Dome.
It’s startlingly calm. A becalming place
Green, tranquil, filled with standing statues
tourists with cameras and
prayers for peace and
pray-ers for peace and
Classes of school children
They bring chains of 1,000 cranes
folded in loving memory of Sadako Sasaki
Her cranes became tinier
leukemia advancing until
Sadako folded symbols of longevity and healing
with the aid of a pin.
At 8:15 a.m. some 65 years later,
Five cranes hold sentinel on
The skeleton now, simply,
called the A-Bomb Dome.
Statues are the world’s countries’ monuments
to Hiroshima reborn, arisen
declaring her residents will,
in a place called The City of Peace.
Classes of children, schooled in knowledge of what
stand for photos before the fountain with the flame
in the center burning
until the last nuclear weapon is dismantled;
names of the dead, reopened, names
added on August 6th.
The Peace Park, the terrible
And the tourists with cameras?
We bear witness. We come to
angels danced on the head of a pin?
We come to see The Truth or
as much truth as we can bear.
Seeing demands the clearest sight
possible when your eyes are filled
with the pin pricks of tears
like the water the burned begged for as they died
The peace fountains spouting outside the museum
the river that flows
near the A-Bomb Dome,
where the cranes have taken up residence.
(17 October 2010 21:27 p.m.)
NOTES: I wrote the first version of this poem while we visited Japan in 2010. The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m.on August 6, 1945. Sadako Sasaki lived 2 kilometers from the epicenter. She was 2 years old at the time, and died of the radiation exposure 10 years later. Sadako is famous for folding origami cranes. According to the Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 cranes will be granted a wish: Sadako hoped to be healed. Today classrooms of children all around the world send strings of paper cranes to be displayed at Sadako Sasaki’s memorial in the Peace Park. Her statue and story are a powerful reminder of the innocent lives lost.
The cenotaph is opened each August 6th and the newest names of the dead are added. Its arched form provides a shelter to the souls of the victims.
The Peace Park contains statues dedicated by countries around the world; a museum; and monuments. We visited at night and the Dome (the only building left standing after the blast) was occupied by cranes. The image of this World Heritage Monument and the symbolic birds took a powerful hold on my imagination. When we returned at daylight to visit the park it overflowed with classes of laughing children, stunned tourists, and an atmosphere that is impossible to describe. It is a place of shared tragedy, and humanity.
The cranes were still there, perching in the Dome.
(All photographs can be enlarged by simply clicking on the image.)
More pictures from our trip to Japan and of Uwe’s photography may be viewed at viewpics.de.
20 thoughts on “8:15 A.M.”
Beautifully written and heart wrenching too.
following your blog now. 🙂
Thank you Geraldine, and welcome to my blog. I’m delighted to have you here. —Jadi
very impressive and deeply emotional… been there, too 5 years ago! similar emotions and feelings in Oahu, at Pearl Harbor years ago… I’ve been to Japan 4 times, I love Nihon, do hope to return there asap… One year ago I was in Nagasaki and Kagoshima:
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Have a peaceful day and sayonara! Mélanie
Hi Melanie, we had the best sushi of our lives in Kagoshima and a soak in an onsen a few feet from the edge of the ocean. Japan is a lovely place. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I envy you getting to return so often. —Jadi
Beautiful Jadi, thank you.
You are very welcome. Thanks for commenting! —Jadi
Not a proud moment in our history and so much loss of life and suffering…
(I had hope to get your book for my Nook,, but it is only available for the Kindle…I will have to get a hard copy)…Michelle
Hi Michelle, I find I still prefer 3-D books to electronic ones, but if you read on a screen Broken In is also available as eBook on Amazon for all Kindle electronic book format readers such as Kindle for PC, for Mac, for iPad, for Android etc. In any case, I’m so happy to hear you’ll be reading the book. And please give me your opinion of it, a writer is only as good as her reader feedback! —Jadi
Thank you for visiting my place Jadi — and for leading me back here. As I read and felt my heart melt, I was grateful for your words.
I used to write on my original blog, Recover Your Joy — your post reminded me of how once Sadako’s cranes helped someone I cared for on his journey out of life. http://recoveryourjoy.blogspot.ca/2010/05/paper-cranes-and-wishes.html
It was a beautiful reminder — not only of the power of peace, but of a gentle man too.
I had shivers as I read your beautiful post. I hope others reading this will go visit it as well.
I’ll be following your new blog! —Jadi
Thank you for sharing
Hi Steve, thanks for commenting. This is the first post I wrote with a specific day in mind to share it. xo — Jadi
Reblogged this on Dreaming the World and commented:
Least we forget.
I am honored by your act. —Jadi
Thank you for reminding us.
This is so beautiful and heartwrenching. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Thank you for your comment…. —Jadi