Google Street View
takes me places.
It’s my first visit to the city.
Wide roads, bustling with cars,
Modern high-rise buildings,
tall enough to impress,
not so tall as to intimidate.
I zoom into stores’ showcases,
wonder about the bikes
along the sidewalks
(so many of them are unchained!)
A young couple
is standing by the counter
at the ice cream and doughnut shop.
They seem to be talking to each other,
perhaps discussing the selection.
A beauty salon, or a spa,
offers hair removal, massage, yoga.
In a narrow alley,
potted plants in front of every door.
Small restaurants advertise their menus
in colourful pictures.
It’s partially cloudy,
but the sunlight is bright.
I see a woman
holding an umbrella
to protect from the rays.
On the walls of the YMCA –
an illustration of Noah’s Ark, with
silhouettes of people and animals
saved from the catastrophe.
It’s a nice, ordinary day,
in Hiroshima, 2014.
(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)