Painting by Lauren Grace Fox

“This poem is folded” was previously published in Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands, edited by Teresa Mei Chuc (Shabda Press, 2017)

This poem is folded

"If you fold a thousand cranes, 
your fondest wish will come true." - 
Japanese proverb
This poem is folded
For hands sick with radiation.
It is formed silently.

Every crease shouts:
Health. Happiness. Longevity.
Every line bitter.

This poem doubles back.
A child flying out of the blast

Like a colt
When the bomb explodes
And black rain falls.

This poem is a raft. 
It floats under Misasa Bridge.
Bears paper lanterns burning 
     with children's pleas.

It wants to take the world to Hiroshima.
To hear 10 million paper prayers;
To lay 10 million paper cranes

At Sadako's feet.
Shelley Marie Motz

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