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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.


There you were.

Your friends and brothers were
washed away on their way home.

You sat in the corner of a white

bed; still no words five
days after the earthquake.

I interviewed you. My cassette
tape recorded the cawing of a crow.

Why you don’t leave her alone? an old nurse asked me.

The rest of Japan starves for hope.

After the tsunami,

after the fire,

there is a dandelion.

The yellow dot thrives
on the wasteland, and then a grandmother is found.

There is hope
you will meet your family again.


Under the sheets, you feel your cold legs.

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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…