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A POEM FOR THE TOHOKU EARTHQUAKE IN JAPAN NO.4

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.

***
MARCH

Buddhist monks lit
the temples aflame
after the earthquake, my father tells me.

The monks scattered
straw and ran with the torchlight.

On the hill, burning
temples and scriptures; ashes
flared in the moonlight. People

hurriedly climbed up the stone
stairs with bamboo buckets
.....and.....heard the tsunami…

The early apricot blossoms

spread in the evening sky. I push
my father’s wheelchair under the trees.

Leave me if it happens, he said.

I pick up a marble
.....and throw it at the tree. Yellowish-
orange petals fall to the ground.

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