Tidal Wave

By Lee Patton

Frank rowed toward the dock his father used, tucked into a wooded river bend behind the town harbor. It was way past six, but the dock was deserted. Where was his dad?

The seagulls kept acting strange. A whole flock had just followed his rowboat against the incoming tide, wailing. When he passed the mooring basin’s log posts, every single gull landed atop each one, like a formation, going dead quiet.

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To a Sycamore, Lately

By Meredith Davies Hadaway

I cannot know the hundred
               springs when tiny leaves uncurled
                              to grasp the sky, the summers

of humid bark and peeling days—
               I know nothing of your life, though
                              I watched it end with ropes and saws
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Beneath a Country Sky

By Angela Nishimoto

Chiyo, standing under the large banyan tree, flung her hands about her face, trying to keep the mosquitoes from alighting. Henry stood at a distance and gazed off down the unpaved road. He became aware of his wife’s irritation, so he turned and made his way back to her. She looked up at the threat of rain. Whether passing mauka showers or downpour, rain was always possible here on the windward side of O`ahu. He reached her just as she swatted a whining little beast, leaving a sooty smudge of mosquito remains centered on her forehead.

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Animals

By Irena Praitis

During the evacuation march, a 12 year old Ukrainian boy was shot to death one night when he asked, desperately, to leave the cellar where we were all housed, to relieve himself. Römhild Work Education Camp, 1945.

The boy pleads, and I remember mother
whipping me with the vacuum cord.
She’d caught me making farting noises
with friends. Shame! She raged,
You’re not an animal! Hide your dirt,
or you’ll be buried in it—
gentility designed to save us
that cost us our lives.

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Columbarium

By Irena Praitis

Römhild Work Education Camp, 1944

Unboxed from the casket
Of my tailored suit
Everything burns:

The disinfection
The prison tunic
The beatings
The cold

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