The heat of summer is oppressive.
Children pass by in groups, chattering.
They wear school outfits –
black pants or skirts and white shirts.
Some groups are wearing yellow caps.
They stop at Sadako’s statue and,
in lilting voices, sing songs with words
I cannot understand.
When they finish their songs, they bow,
paying tribute to one of their own, Sadako,
forever young, a child of the bomb.
Though nearly seven decades have passed,
I feel guilty for what my country did here.
To whom can I apologize? To whom must
I apologize? It doesn’t matter.
They have already forgiven, long ago.
David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.