Letter From Manzanar(Bridge to the Past)

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Dear America,

Do you remember me?
I used to own the flower shop on Pua Olena Drive,
My wife made spam musubi for our fishing trips
And she cooked the trout for dinner

My uncle sold puka shell necklaces
At the yearly Cherry Blossom Festival
We ate tamago kake gohan before
Heading to work in the blood red pineapple fields

I was your neighbor, your friend, a devoted citizen.

But now, it’s over. From riches to rags,
From a coy fish pond by our island home
To a dry rock garden
In front of our sun burnt shack

I miss the white, sandy beaches
And teaching my son how to strum the uke
I miss hiking up Diamond Head
And watching those beautiful sunsets

I miss home.

As of now I endure the heat of hell
And daily peel off the unwanted skin,
Trapped in this timeless wasteland
Waiting for the fight to be over

That Day of Infamy has scarred me forever
Just the same as you, and yet, out of fear
You kicked dirt on my wounds?

No more rainbows after the rain,
Only more dust after each dust storm
No more shaka brah with laughs and smiles
Just sun and dirt and sun and dirt

Come and sleep with me on the icy wood floor
With all my brothers and sisters
And endure the abusive sun
Waiting for the gate to open or inevitable death

Wipe the mud tears from my mother’s cheeks
And consider your baby boy a threat
“We the People” does not include my people…

So do you remember me? Or even my name?
Or did you forget, America?
Or am I just another Jap behind the fence?
Are you really any different than the enemy you face?

Human being or prisoner, enemy or friend
Whichever you consider me as,
At least contain my letter
Till we meet next time





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