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I am writing poems adapting Japanese tsunami survivors’ stories into the first narrative. What I can do as Japanese, I want to tell their amazing stories to English speaking countries. The poem is fictional based on a real event.


The tsunami broke through the kitchen windows.
A truck surged into the dining table.

I never thought the waves would reach here.

My house slowly tilted.
I was flung off the balcony.

I think of my death.

A tin roof washed over my head.
Its sharp edge cut my arms.

My jeans were caught by a wire fence.
Splinters flooded my mouth.

I think of my mother.

She biked to the market.
I will cook daikon-radish. Will you eat at home tonight?

She might have stopped by the flower shop

on the sloping road.

Yellow daffodils always bloomed
on the dinning table at the end of winter.

It was the sign that spring would soon come.

I need to breathe.
.....I want to breathe.

From a random third floor window,
there were wet old men holding out a steel pole.

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Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. She was an exchange student and received a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University South Bend. Her recent publications are in Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, RHINO, Cream City Review, and many other journals. Her first chapbook, “Home, No Home”, won the annual Oro Fino Chapbook Competition by Educe Press. Other short collections, “Silver Seasons of Heartache” and “Cochlea”, will be published by Glass Lyre Press in May, 2017. Currently she is working on her graphic poetry co…