The Standing Boy of Nagasaki*

Standing in a line –
all our yesterdays consumed
in atomic fire

©Copyright Brendan E Byrne 2020. All rights reserved.

*After the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945, the infrastructure for properly cremating and burying people was destroyed. Large public cremation pits were created to deal with the large volume of bodies caused by the bombing and subsequent deaths from radiation poisoning. The “Standing Boy of Nagasaki” was an unidentified boy who was photographed standing in line at one of these cremation pits with his dead brother strapped to his back. The boy watched while his brother was cremated, then walked away. His identity and fate remain unknown.