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


I ask my mother
to live with me in America.
She says, I will stay with your brother.

He is a police officer. He patrols
within 30km around
the Fukushima nuclear plant

and breathes in and out
in the late spring air; purple
crocuses, pansies, and

invisible radioactive particles…
Over the phone, she continues,
You have your life in America and

I have my life in Japan. I hear
pacific waves from the phone receiver.
My six-year-old son makes

an origami crane. He learned
that thousands of origami
cranes bring happiness and

peace from my mother last summer.
His little hands fold the blue
paper. I choose orange

paper. The sunset softly
shines through the thin curtain. Shadows
of two hands are on the origami

papers. The cranes sink
in the sepia colored table. Suddenly
I hear a noise

from my son and my stomach. I turn
on the kitchen light and open
the refrigerator. He carries me an apron.

The origami cranes migrate from the window.

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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…