Home Community Hiroshima After the War

Hiroshima After the War

By Lawrence Matsuda

Christmas chocolates set aside for Hiroshima relatives:

See’s chewy nougat, caramel walnuts, 

vanilla crème, and solid milk chocolate. 

Mom convinced us to keep fruit cake,

sticky blob of candied cherries, citron, 

and oranges cemented in a circular can covered with a design of holly sprigs and pine cones.

The tin was the only thing of value to me.

Possible home for toy army soldiers or mom’s sewing threads and needles.

We complained that all the best went to Japan and we got left-overs. 

My brother and I believed everyone had relatives with homes destroyed in the War. 

Hauled boxes in the Red Radio Flyer Wagon to the Chinatown Post Office every month: 

Chocolates, coffee, medicine to trade on the black market, 

underwear and clothes purchased from Goodwill.

We took turns riding home.

Prevented the wagon from rattling.

Lawrence Matsuda is a local poet. The poem is reprinted with permission from his book, “A Cold Wind from Idaho,” Black Lawrence Press, NY, 2010, 79 pp. (paperback).

Previous articleBlack Skies (Not Smiling at Me) ~JCCCW’s Omoide
Next articleThe Vagabond
The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.