by Mark Chmiel

I was reading a history
of Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb
against Japan
In one of the chapters
The author noted  that during the war
The US thought of the Japanese
As subhuman or inhuman
Depicted them as vermin, reptiles, apes
Called them  “yellow rats”
“Yellow monkeys” “yellow bastards”

We were walking
In the Botanical Gardens
Amid thousands at
The annual Japanese Festival
Throngs of people exploring with gusto
Anime, aikido, bonsai
Ikebana, kimono
Origami, sumo
So much curiosity
So many smiles


Zen garden Botanical