Black Kedo – A Nagasaki Memory
When the black rain hit us, we thought we would die.
But we were wrong.
My wife looked up at me as we struggled to breathe.
“Where is Kedo?” she said.
I shrugged, not feeling myself at all.
After the brightness, all the air was sucked out of us.
A piece of cedar from the doorframe was sticking out of my wife’s neck.
I tugged at it, absentmindedly, but she slapped my hand away.
We looked all around the house but couldn’t find our daughter.
Then, finally, we noticed it: a perfect charcoal outline on the south wall of her room.
A shadow burnt into the wood.
We called her Black Kedo.
That was many years ago.
She would be fifty-seven today.
With bent back, I shuffle to the south wall and light some incense.
Happy Birthday, Black Kedo.
Image by kedoink kedondeng