Poetry Friday has arrived again!  This Friday, please visit Linda at TeacherDance for some poignant poetry posts.

My son brought this article to my attention.  It discusses the hypothetical question of whether Japan would have surrendered in WWII without the US dropping atomic bombs.  

The following image from the article struck me.

[US Air Force Photo, September 2, 1945]

It depicts a Japanese delegation onboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. They are there to participate in a formal WWII surrender ceremony.  We know how WWII ends from US history books.  We may even be able to intuit some of the emotions of the US Servicemen in this picture, but what if we also pause momentarily to consider this scenario from the Japanese point of view?  Can we fathom the emotions of that stoic group of men?


I Surrender


I come to you in top hat, gloves, and starched collar.

I come to you with dignitaries, generals, and commanders.

I come to you in solemnity, humility, and defeat.


I will surrender.

I will sign your papers and submit to your photographs, but

I will not share with you my rage, my hopelessness, my pain.


Tracey Kiff-Judson, draft © 2023


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