I do not remember the Idaho winter winds,
the knee deep mud that oppressed 10,000 souls or
the harsh summer heat and dust.
I do not remember the miles of clotheslines,
dirty diapers, the noise of families crowded in barracks
and canned Vienna sausage that
seemed to exude endlessly from the mess hall.†
Floating in the amniotic fluid,
my Mother’s anxieties,
enveloped and nurtured me,
tethered in a salty brine
nourished by fear and sadness.
Maybe it was the loss of her home,
the evacuation,
being betrayed by her country,
or maybe it was the still born child,
she referred to as “It”. †
My aunt described it as†“budo”,
a cluster of grapes.
I recalled what Barry my psychiatrist friend
said about parents emotionally distancing themselves
from children born immediately after a still born.
Sixty years later on drizzly Seattle days,
when the November sky is overcast,
and the darkness begins at 4:00 PM,
I feel my mother’s sadness like a cold wind from Idaho.
I wish I could remember Minidoka.††
I would †trade those memories for
the fear and sadness I carry in my genes.
— Larry Matsuda
November 2004.

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