There was only one war, and it was finishing
any day soon. Ears keyed to the wireless,
we waited. Then the news: Japan bombed,
gigantic clouds curling, skies burnt scarlet —
total destruction . . .
We've won, we've won, a conga-chant
round the schoolground, beating tins, sticks:
our teacher joining in — flags, jumbled cries —
uncles and cousins coming back. The war over.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki — ghost towns now.
Over two hundred thousand people
ghosts too. We couldn't imagine it.
The bomb entered our conversation,
a stranger who refused to leave.
Only years on did we become aware
of the pit of ash beneath our tongues.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem