In memory of Sadako Sasaki
On my travels to see the world
I came across a bent and gnarled man,
he limped along on tired legs
and was missing fingers on each hand.
We shared the same direction
and soon words we did exchange,
I told him of all my dreams
And all the things I sought to change.
He smiled the smile of age
where truths have lived the test of time,
and in his face was written
every mountain he had climbed.
The time between us was warm,
oh, the tales that he could tell,
the passions and the pains of living life and hell.
He’d been neither a pauper nor a king,
oh but the places in between,
each tale weaved so well of all he’d felt and seen.
And then we came to where our paths would take us differently,
the smile of life left his face and he gravely looked at me.
His time was almost gone,
mine, he said, just begun,
and if I should remember any story
he hoped that this would be the one.
And he painted such a story
it was hard not to disbelieve,
a story so unhappy that all the world did grieve.
I asked, “Could wise men be that foolish as not to see the folly of their plan,
that if they kill the earth there will be no place left for man?”
He bowed his head in silence,
then began slowly on his way, he paused, then turned and whispered, “Remember the Enola Gay.”
B. M. Hughes
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