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If it were raining,
cold drops falling from a leaden sky,
perhaps the shock would be less jolting;
but the day,
an afternoon,
is warm and full of sun
as two young women say,
"We will take you there."

And so they take us there.

The epicenter of the bomb in Nagasaki
is now greened with grass
and young people take pictures
of one another against the relics there.
A hand-lettered sign,
explains the day and hour
when a Christian nation's planes
came to this waiting place.

The navigator
saw leaden clouds that day.
He flew silent, far above them.
Safe -
and watched for a military target
and could see none,
for the leaden clouds were tight that day.

there was a break in that gray cover
and that is where they placed the bomb,
dropping it with care
through this opened space.

The epicenter in Nagasaki
was the cathedral,
"the largest in the East,"
with its gold cross pointing to the sky
when planes with Christian pilots
came to hurt this city.

Now a twisted, blackened scaffolding
lies on grass beneath the sun -
a mark, an x, a cross
to show what man has done.


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