She couldn’t have been older than 3. Then again, three tends to look like two in Japan, and five like three, ten like seven and twenty like twelve. Maybe she was five.

I watched her hands as they reached for the bubbles.



Miniature hands

She grabbed for the little globes

Rainbows near her eyes

They danced all around

Up and away

Circling about

Playing their elusive games

And when she caught them they hid themselves further

Popping with surprise

Bursting with envy

Out of desire to be higher


I observed her carefully

Pondering her life

A child survived

Innocence deprived

A giddy, giggling little thing

She bounced around

Chasing her toys

Making little noises

For a moment a child plays

In a nation where wrath did not delay

Rainbows near their eyes

Hope dancing all around

Playing its elusive games

Evading little hands


Gently now

And outstretched arm

Descending from above

It lands on her palm

Fragile grace

Like glass it breaks


For a moment a child plays

For a moment hope remains.



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