Too Young to Remember Minidoka, Idaho.
I do not remember the cold 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, pheromones of
fear and sadness nourished me.
Maybe it was the loss of her home,
the evacuation, the barbed wire,
being betrayed by her country,
Or maybe it was the stillborn child,
she referred to as “It”.
My aunt described it as “budo”
or a cluster of grapes.
I recalled what Barry my psychiatrist friend said about
parents emotionally distancing themselves
from new children 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.
Sometimes I wish I could remember Minidoka.
I would trade those memories
for the sadness and fear I carry in my genes.
Larry Matsuda, November 2004