So Much Is Lost
Last week you took away my father’s photographs
of Nagasaki, the coins he brought home from Japan
in 1947, the paper money, improbably printed
in English, labeled by the bank of Imperial Japan,
that I taped together to make a garland
in 1967, when I believed in a world of peace,
before 1968, assassinations, and a war for my own
generation in a far off place. My son, expert
on the history of Atari, of Namco, of Bally Midway,
Pac-Man, Nintendo, Intellivision, Playstation, Sony,
of arcade arts, of shooting games. You will be living
there, in the country that boy touched. Want me
to come see you in an odd-numbered month
so we can see Sumo? Will you show me Kyoto?
And Hiroshima? Cherry blossoms, and the museum
of the bomb. Here, we’ve found a match—a temple
in a black and white photo, in your grandfather’s journal,
brilliantly painted, crisply in focus, on your phone.
Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.