This poem was read by Barry Spacks at the Foundation’s Sadako Peace Day commemoration on August 6, 2009

The child Sadako, leukemia victim of Hiroshima, folded some 600 paper cranes in hope of health in the year before she died.

Tell the story; the heart from horrors hardens like ice; pray that words may melt to tears the heart. Sadako’s friends completed the thousand cranes

to bear away Sadako’s poisons. Imagine those stumbling, ardent fingers, fingers folding cranes of hope. Tell the story again and again.

The children raised a monument to Sadako, bomb-sickened child of war. Her image there holds a golden crane in triumph over mindless death.

We weep for Sadako, weep for her friends, until all blasted flesh is ours, for still comes news of rage and war, still comes hope in the folding of cranes.

Tell the story, tell the story: salt tears, my friends, must make a start. Fold the cranes, the thousand cranes meaning Never again. Never again.

Barry Spacks is First Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara.