We sliced the chrysanthemum
Off its stalk
And let it naked in the sun.
My parents did not hear from any of their families after that day.
In 1989, Noriyo and her family moved to Hawaii from Hiroshima. Her grandmother was exposed to the radiation as a child, and was now ridden with cancer throughout her body. Her physician had recommended the mild climate of Hawaii. Noriyo entered my third grade class:
44 Years Later
a dark mushroom cloud
follows me across the Pacific
into my classroom.
forgive us, Noriyo,
Voice from the Unborn
You promised me, eons ago,
A world, free of battlefields, soldiers, children
Abandoned in fear and hunger.
You offered me Hope, again and again.
A world, you said, where we will stand
Hand in hand, beyond color, religion, gender, age,
One race. One humanity.
You promised me a world
Free of poison in oceans, earth and air.
“You are the future”, you told me,
“Come and be born in this world I will
Create for you.”
My brothers and sisters who believed you
Are now old men and women, and they wait.
Nagasaki, they said, was the start of Peace.
Listen to my voice, your unborn child.
Eons ago, you sliced the chrysanthemum
Off its stalk and left it
Naked in the sun.
Over the ashes of Hiroshima,
Our victory was hailed.
Beneath that, my ancestors lay buried.
Stop using me, your unborn child
For promises and meaningless rhetoric.
The future is now. I can’t wait any longer.
The future is now. I want to be born. Today.