Shiz 静

Shizuka Okazaki, 1922 – 2010

First born. Quiet.
Cooled in her mother’s arms
By a pear-scented island breeze.
Walked, ran, worked.
Life, family, duty.
The fields, the hotel.
Clean sheets and old men.
For father and mother,
One foot in front of the other.

Then horse stalls and Minidoka.
Warmed by her mother’s arms
And a tar-scented iron stove.
Walked, ran, worked.
Life, family, duty.
The barbed wire, the garden.
Clean sheets and sentries.
For country and each other,
One day in front of the other.

Then, finally, ordinary days.
Yielding to another’s arms.
Sewing machines and a family.
Walked, ran, worked.
Life, family, duty.
Salt air and gray hair.
Clean sheets pulled to her chin.
Issei, Nisei, Sansei mothers,
One stitch in front of the others.

March 2010

 

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