A Tree for the Victims

Hiroshima Tree at Tavistock Square, London. Photo © Global Poetry.

Hiroshima Tree at Tavistock Square, London. Photo © Global Poetry.

As far away as London, there is a solid tree,
a stately tree, I would say, casting a broad shadow
on a cool green lawn.

A plaque at the base of the tree tells passers-by
that the tree was planted by the worshipful Mayor
of Camden, Councillor Mrs. Millie Miller,
on August 6, 1967.

It was twenty-two years after the new
U.S. bomb destroyed Hiroshima, killing ordinary people –
men, women and children – by blast, fire and radiation.
Some victims were incinerated, leaving only shadows.

How can a single tree, no matter how solid, bear
the weight of such memory?

Now, many years later, picnickers laugh and eat
their lunches in the shade of the tree.

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David Krieger

Dr. David Krieger is a leader in the global movement to abolish nuclear weapons and build a more peaceful world. He is a founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and has served as president of the Foundation since 1982. Amongst several of his wide-spanning leadership endeavours in global peacebuilding, he is a founder and a member of the Global Council of Abolition 2000, councilor on the World Future Council, and is the chair of the Executive Committee of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility. Dr. Krieger is the author of many books and studies of peace in the Nuclear Age. He has written or edited more than 20 books. He has also written hundreds of articles and book chapters. He is a recipient of several awards and honours, including the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Peace Writing Award for Poetry (2010).

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