“‘Oh, a Dove …’ — A Report from Nagasaki –” by Aiko Tokuzawa

Translated by Jiro Numano and Vince Lawlor.

Read in the original Japanese here.

In the sky above the Peace Statue, fall has come,
Fall which descended upon the mountain of offered flowers.
When the wind blew,
We felt the smell of that day.
Every time we smell the air,
The wound opened up its red sore.
Two minutes past eleven in the morning of August 9th
Comes around every year anew,
And makes us grow old.
Oh, a dove
Perched on the finger of the statue extended toward heaven.


The baby a couple had longed for,
Whom they’d named ‘Kazuyo’ with great expectation,
Had no eyes.
Two orbits came in our sights as blue shadows.
She was a child with clear pale skin,
A deep, silent color.
The glossy skin as if wax drawn over
Brought out the silence still more.
For a short while in the world,
She cried gently.
Soon, while unseen and barely lasting,
Her crying faded away.
She could only cry.
They could only listen to
Her lonely voice.
Between crying and listening
There was no gap as wide as a hair.
Both crying and listening
Were indescribably hard to do.
Yet the mother and child
Were one, tangled up and embracing each other. The scene of this oneness, so close that breathing could be felt, Forces people to intensely awake and face history every year.

At the fingertip of the meditating Peace Statue, The dove was motionless like a sculpture,
With its deep blue eyes
Spread open like bright pupils. 


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