The Japs, my mysterious kin,
Had just bombed Pearl Harbor.
Each night thereafter, Each home
Was allowed one blackened light.
So, windows were tarred
And cracks under doors were
Stuffed with rags, chastizing
The light that dared to wander.
The block wardens would then
Come to check out the lights.
Violators were startled by the
Bang on the door and if you were
Jap, you had to be extra careful —
They could send you to internment
Camp, somewhere in Colorado.
One night a woman labored in
The heat of the cuckolded light.
Into this darkness, a child was born.
It was I. A black-out baby —
Nosing in the darkness
With heavy eyes, crying from
A yellow-belly, filled with
A livid cry!
“Black-Out Baby,” by Juliet S. Kono, Bamboo Ridge: The Hawaii Writers’ Quarterly, No. 7, June – August 1980, Full Moon
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