The first crocuses! Delicate purple petals shiver in the wind. I see them and squeak.
Eating my soft-shell crab maki rolls, I glance at the nature film being shown on a screen above our table. A scene of herons shifts to a mass of emperor penguins. I dip my maki roll into my soy sauce and wasabi and take a bite, looking up to see a fluffy grey penguin chick being pecked by a huge gull. The camera zooms in on the gull’s bloodied face and then to Momma Penguin lifting her beak to the sky. Even though the sound is muted, I can hear her keening.
At the Imperial War Museum, away from textbooks and movies and the Queen’s grave face on Remembrance Day, the carved metal and striped fabric becomes real. Even in polished, framed boxes, every medal becomes a story, the wounded skin of a person’s heart.