ethel’s words

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WEEPING IN AUGUST

Why am I crying? Why these uninvited tears?

“You are weeping for Nagasaki” my heart said. “You never did cry enough for Nagasaki. You wept in the street for Hiroshima, knowing the needless slaughter, the incomprehensible cruelty--oh, horror--all fraudulent.”

It wasn’t even punishment--it was to frighten the Soviets, whose literature you feared. The literary terrorists who threatened our purple dreams.

Oh, Nagasaki, the mourners mourn for you. But your very guiltlessness, the sweet, trusting innocence of uninvolved, simple people, judged beside the punishment you bore for humankind, the vast shadow of pain inflicted only for its own sake; the suffering, the anguish. For these I weep. Some wounds will never heal.

Does anyone think the ashes do not cry out in the night? Do they not hear the pain in the voice of the wind?

Sin will never be the same again. Nothing that brings comfort, nothing that provides sustenance, nothing that soothes pangs of loneliness, should be condemned as sin.

The only sin is pain inflicted to cause suffering.

It is a human prerogative.

Ethel C. Hale