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Thursday, August 06, 2020


by Daniel Brown

On that clear, sunny morning, 7-year-old Howard Kakita stood on the roof of his grandparents’ bathhouse excitedly watching the vapor trails of an approaching B-29. The date was August 6, 1945. The city was Hiroshima. Howard was not supposed to be on the roof, his grandmother shouting as the air raid siren sounded. Then again, neither he nor his brother were supposed to be in Japan at all. Born in California, they were Americans, like their mother and father before them, like unknown numbers of U.S. citizens who were caught in that city on that day and forever after associated with the atomic bomb and the horrors it unleashed… Only as a young man did Howard begin to realize how miraculous his survival was. His grandparents lived less than a mile from Hiroshima’s ground zero. For several moments, he lay unconscious under the rubble then dug himself out. His grandfather rescued his grandmother from the mountain of debris that had been their house… Both Howard and Kenny suffered dysentery and lost their hair from the radiation exposure. Their maternal grandmother, they learned, had literally vanished in the blast. Their maternal grandfather would die within days. —The Washington Post, August 4, 2020. Photo: Howard Kakita, right, his older brother, Kenny, and paternal grandfather, Yaozo, all lost their hair because of radiation exposure from the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima. (Family photo)

glowing morning busy sidewalks

children playing or in carriages 
a buzz in the sky

giant mosquitoes 
a moment later
cinder and ash.

Daniel Brown is a retired Special Education teacher. He began writing poetry for his own pleasure but is now interested in sharing his work. Daniel has been an activist for environmental, anti-nuke, and social issues since the 80’s. He reads regularly at CAPS (Calling All Poets) in New Paltz N.Y. and has been published in Chronogram Magazine. He resudes  in Red Hook, N.Y.