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Gregory Dunne – II


Haneda Airport, Tokyo March 15, 2011*






Eight years old –

name tag pinned

to his chest – ヒロサト。

His look of being

a little scared

as jet engines whine

their way up.


One empty seat

between us –

he’s never been this close

to a gaijin

but leans over – asks

where the bathroom is



He is heading south

away from the zone –


like children years ago

sent out of Tokyo

when fire bombs rained

terror down.


He settles in –

adjusts his seat –

“Ready or not,” I tease,

and he smiles

past my English

he doesn’t understand

into the better language

we are finding between us.





*Note: On March 11, 2011, The Great East Japan Earthquake struck off the  

coast of Tohoku – the strongest earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan.