Jeanne Emrich



                                                 Journey to Poston

pale desert sun . . .
                                                 what does the soldier care
                                                 about the birdcage
                                                 I forgot
                                                 to leave open?

                                                 mesas and buttes
                                                 rise up beyond
                                                 dusty bus windows―
                                                 our mouths too dry
                                                 to say the names

                                                 stuffing straw
                                                 into mattresses
                                                 we add sprigs
                                                 of desert lavender―
                                                 the Sonoran wind

                                                 he checks
                                                 my shoes for scorpions
                                                 every morning―
                                                 such is the way of love
                                                 in Arizona

                                                 the MP pretends
                                                 not to notice―
                                                 my boy sneaking back
                                                 into camp, tiny fossils
                                                 in his pocket

                                                 it can't be helped:
                                                 sparkling grit
                                                 on tarpaper walls


                                                 Family of Lawrence Yatsu
                                                 Poston Relocation Center
                                                 Poston, Arizona, 1942-1945


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