The Nagasaki Man (a poem by Hudson Phillips):

People were still negotiating their body space

Or ‘Centering’ as our church calls it,

so that God and souls could find one another

in the web of pew materials,

When a old man stood up and faced the people

with attention to the anniversary

of something that we did to others,

in what seemed like yesterday to him

at a place where there were cherry trees

and children and a cloudless sky

and hardly the place where one would

stop time and turn it all to clay.

“Today is the day that we bombed Nagasaki

Why, a second time?” He emphasized with a sigh.

We sang and we prayed

about the strange question

of the ‘Nagasaki Man.’

I told him later that I never

thought of it that way.


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