August 6, 1945
It was the brightest morning in many days.
I saw the factory smoke
from the kitchen window
drifting east toward Fukuyama.
My daughter had cleaned the windows
on Saturday. We’d grown displeased
with the soot, what the firebombs
brought from Myoshi and Shobara.
I was putting the breakfast dishes away.
Sakura was listening to the radio.
I told her I’d cut her bangs,
for I believed the heat of summer
had made them long, and her wrists
brushed them often from her eyes,
her father’s eyes. He was dead at 8:17
under a lathe in the lumber factory,
lucky, I suppose, because he never felt
that rush of wind, the cup
that crushed Sakura’s jaw, the monsoon
that killed us again in September.