Cherry-Blossom Petals

Hewing to the propaganda line of universal, suicidal resistance, Japan's Domei news agency last week reported a new band of self-liquidating heroes. This time, Domei said, the "special attackers" were schoolchildren on Aka Island, in the Kerama group, who rushed at U.S. invaders, "blasting themselves with hand grenades." Too deeply moved for prose, the newspaper Mainichi published this elegy:

Tears well up, involuntarily,

Just to hear of them. ...

Clutching tightly in their tiny palms

Real fire-belching hand grenades. . . .

The tiny special attackers fell admirably,

Like petals of a cherry blossom. . . .

The pitter-patter of their small army shoes

Keeps pounding my...

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