Under the Mask

Hiroshima, Two Months after the Atomic Bomb, October 1945.
By Kent Shifferd, World BEYOND War, July 23, 2023

It was at Hiroshima
That we made it simple,
And easy.
One button,
One bomb
To ignite a
Whole city in
Seconds, churning, broiling
Blast and flame
Roasting buildings, bodies, lives,
Little ones,
Leaving the empty landscape flat, charred, silent, dead.
After that not too many people had to be involved.

A few
Could devastate an entire civilization in an
Leaving the rest of us
To get on about our business,
Selling insurance, watching football,

That was when self-deceit came into it,
There, at Hiroshima,
Where we pulled the sitcom mask
Over the charred skull,
Our skull.

To see who we really are you have to look at
Now that took effort.
A thousand heavy bombers had to come back
Three times.
Even then some escaped
And had to be hunted down by the fighter planes
And killed one-by-one
By their 50-calibur bullets.
Now that was the real thing,
Defining who we are,
Under the mask.

One Response

    I would like to reprint “Under the Mask” in our Hiroshima-Nagasaki Remembrance, or read it aloud as part of our program.
    WE know each other by the way, and I am pleased to be in contact with you again.

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