Daughters of Hiroshima

I’m taking my son this morning to the drop off point for his school trip to Hiroshima. Out the window, the fog was freakishly thick and my boy was fascinated by the semi-occluded sun. He took the attached photos. I remembered then that after my trip to Hiroshima with my wife 15 years ago, during which we visited the atomic bomb museum, I wrote a short story about it called Daughters of Hiroshima. A small press literary zine later published it. The story described the occluded sun in terms of a nuclear bomb descending which resembled the photos my son took this morning.

“A tug at my shirt. I turned and Hanako’s face, pale and sweating, terror in her eyes, was at my shoulder. She pulled at me hard, toward the door.

We burst out the front doors of the building, and sucked in great lungfuls of air. While it was better outside, it was still suffocating. The oily clouds had thickened. The sky was pregnant with dust and water. Near a cluster of leafless trees beside the building, we collapsed on a park bench.

Night closed in. The sun was touching the tops of the trees, casting fiery pieces of itself on the clouds behind it. We sat with each other a long time, our heads pressed together.

A big dark thing followed us onto the train. In our seats, Hanako and I gripped each other’s hands. We didn’t speak. The car was choked with people. A dirty rain began to fall as we pulled away from the station. Flecks of mud on the windows floated in midair while a landscape of buildings, vacant lots, and billboards came into view and vanished. In the diminishing light, an old woman huddled under an umbrella, a child sobbing at her side, and was gone.”


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