Hiroshima: Thinking of Sadness: Jayne Marek

Hiroshima: Thinking of Sadness: Jayne Marek


By: Derek Otsuji


On cold mornings like this, she boiled soup stock

from the little silver anchovies called

iriko, sliced winter radish into

translucent half moons, cut a tofu block

into small marble cubes, and gently mashed

in the miso paste to thicken the broth.

On lucky days there’d be a whole poached egg

in each bowl, green onion for garnishing.

Curling phantoms bloomed in winter’s kitchen,

summoning warm bodies round the table,

the legs of wooden chairs scraping linoleum

while cupboard doors on musical hinges

opened, closed and the setting was complete.

It’s to this memory the hunger comes home.