Sunday, July 8, 2007

Poetry Sunday: Ophelia in Hiroshima

The very first poem I wrote was called "Memory", about the ghost of a little girl standing outside my window, calling me to come out and play. I rhymed "red as blood" with "rosy flood"; I don't do rhyme much anymore.

The little ghost-child was supposedly Memory, reminding me: "In my soul is a child just waiting to play". I was 12 years old. It's funny and a little bit sad that I felt the need to remind myself at that age that I was still a child, that I could still go out and play.

Poetry is sometimes the hardest thing for me to write, but it's my favorite genre to work in. On Sundays, I'll post poems that I've written since "Memory". A few have been published; most have not.

A version of the one below was first published in The Eclipse, a University of Maryland student paper, in 1997. It was then featured on "A Taste for Justice", an evening of poetry readings held in St. Albert to raise money for Amnesty International in June 2005. It appeared in print again in Fall 2005 in Rags, the Southern Alberta Journal of Creative Writing. I wrote it after reading Kenzaburo Oe's The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath.

Ophelia in Hiroshima

They found her body floating in the pond.

They say she had gone mad.
Little Boy shattered her world
like the landlady’s vermillion water jar.

Her eyes, wide as the atomic sky,
were the color of a crazy iris.

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