It was 77 years ago today that Hiroshima was flattened by an atomic blast, the first of only two times nuclear weapons have been used in war.


(for the survivors of Hiroshima blast)

  there was a slow tolling bell
and a great mass mourned the memory
of a second sun rising
            the sound was mixed choirs
or dogs howling at the end of the world
a great box of people opened to a melting sky
            a slow tolling tolling tolling
and in the long silences between the bells
blinded eyes saw wisps of smoke
like white flags or tattered rags
saluted by a broken empire
            the bell does not toll for the dead
they are not here, nothing remains of them
            the last bell dies in the air
swallowed up in the memory of anger
like doves who tire and fall
all dead, all dead

–Rob Archer

(This poem and many others are available in my collection, “Elephant.” You can buy it here.)