Origami Storm


i opened cereal boxes

upside down

and absently stuck them on a shelf

in the fridge,

defying the precision strokes

of my mom,

the domestic engineer of

measured cups

and dough teaspooned to perfect circles

on cookie sheets—

“after all, cooking is chemistry”—

wielder of pinking shears zigzagging

on the bias

of sturdy school-dress cloth plumped by


i fingered the rickrack trimming

black-and-white checks

and scratched at whispered crinoline


she never cut, creased, and turned


yet showered our youth with the luck of

1,000 cranes—

a storm of happiness that heals

winter’s blast.

The story of 1,000 paper cranes

Origami cranes came to symbolize healing in Japan because of Sadako Sasaki, who contracted and died of leukemia after the bombing of Hiroshima. Known as “the girl who folded 1,000 paper cranes” to transcend her pain, she launched a peace movement sustained by her family. Ari Beser beautifully pens this story in “How Paper Cranes Became a Symbol of Healing in Japan” (National Geographic).

Related poem

hibakusha #hiroshima

Credit: origami holiday design at the Delaware Art Museum

Daily Post Prompt: Paper


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