SE Asia & Japan :: April - June, 1995

Subject: A White Road
Date: June 14, 1995 21:06


A white road.
A white road in Hiroshima.

Mother walked that scorching road
Working clothes all torn.

And I, who had been born
Just 40 days before,
Held in those arms,
Gazed up with eyes of innocence
To where the deep blue sky
Stretched wide, she said.
The white mushroom cloud
Moved like a sea slug,
Growing wide, and wider still.

Mid-summer phantoms
And those hateful things
That happened long ago
Are all so infinitely sad.
The image of that single
Long white road
Lies in the corner of my mother's heart
And mine
And does not even try do die.
The road stretches on and on;
An endless road,
White, dust-covered, soiled by grief.

The road began that moment,
The road without an end,
The road we've walked without a pause,
For fourteen years.
Mother is tired.
And I am tired.

And when beset by waves
Of sadness and exhaustion
She lay a while to rest.
Her tears fell on my face
And left their patterns in the dust.

A white road.
A white road in Hiroshima

Author not specified
From the Peace Museum,
Hiroshima, Japan

Patrick. -- Responses Sought --

Dropped by the USAF B-29 Enola Gay, the bomb exploded at 8:15 AM and approximately 75,000 people were killed immediately by the blast and subsequent fires. In comparison, all bombing in WW II killed about 30,000 people in London and about another 30,000 in the rest of the UK. The Hiroshima death toll has probably now reached 200,000 as people continue to die from the radiation aftereffects. Even today, certain types of cancers still occur among Hiroshima's population in greater numbers than in comparable cities.
  graphical element Tony Wheeler
Japan: Travel Survival Kit
Lonely Planet Publications