My neighbor once said,
“We the under-dogs.
We don’t have a chance.
Look the Fukunaga boy—
In no time, they hang him.”
My heart gave way in anguish
when they took my son away
in the middle of the night.
After that, I didn’t want to show my face.
So ashamed,
I didn’t want to go out
of our small house Liliha Way;
so scared, I saw everything
in our outside world
as too big.
For I had forgotten . . .
we breathe like them,
eat like them,
dream like them.
The only difference?
We, a different color.
Once, I had big dreams.
I thought, perhaps,
my children would someday
break the land covenants,
go to college.
I broke my back, my fingers
to raise my children right.
Even forgot those in Japan,
my family’s history beginning here,
but now turned.
My Horace is in jail,
with the other boys,
accused, not only by the white woman
but by my eyes of shame.
What did all the mothers do wrong?
I have to remind myself–
They all good boys,
my son and his friends,
but now they rot in jail.
Put there, without charges.

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