09 August 2005

The second city

A quiet rain from a concrete-coloured sky. A swallow, perched on a protruding wire above algal-grubby guttering, ruffles and preens in the falling drops; amorphous clouds, hardly distinguishable from the grey background, drift slowly across the skyline towards the obscured range. It's not cold, not wild; the day's subdued and gentle. Maybe it was like this in Nagasaki 60 years ago, until an unlucky break in the cloud revealed the city to the USAAF bomber Bockscar carrying Fat Man and a new cloud rose in the sky; the kind of cloud seen over a city only once before. Three days before, over Hiroshima.

Let's hope it's never seen again. Ever.

Photo and words copyright 2005 Pete McGregor

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