Post-holocaust tram

I wrote this poem after visiting Hiroshima for the first time in 2004. It was later published in my first full-length poetry collection, We Will Disappear (2007). While we remember August 6 as the day Hiroshima died, and August 9 as the day the same fate was handed to Nagasaki, I personally was not aware of August 5 as the anniversary of the Cowra breakout, an event that has left its mark on both Australia and Japan.
& if on reaching Hiroshima Station
You step off a bullet & wander out
Into the aftermath: a diorama for
Which you have no name yet here

At the beginning of your tranquil
21st century journey by tram these
Tracks that hold you upright squeak
& scream with sixty years of shame

Like destiny still wooden carrying
That horsey scent rattles somehow
They survived beneath the epicentre
A direct hit on their infrastructure

(Where it hurts) for which you are
Now paying your share ironically
At the exit in this civilised space
& there are no inspectors merely

Crayon drawings speaking of those
Inconceivable first days lingering
Gamma rays & the resumption of
Normal services forty eight hours

Post Enola Gay on track (where it
Hurts) all the fragmented sitting
Neatly on their familiar wooden
Racks barely bandaged the tram

Just trundles onwards oblivious
To the empty pockets too reliable
To demand a fare circling round
& round atomic boxcars have no

Final destination beyond the zero
Round & round an invisible coin’s
Clatter nobody’s talking nothing’s
Moving – & nobody’s getting off
Davey Dreamnation
Davey Dreamnation

Davey Dreamnation (1972–?) is an Australalian musician, vocalist, pirate and record-label owner who now lives 'in the third person'.

View his full biography.

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