Memories of Japan Town – NaPoWriMo Day14 and Day15

Okay, I skipped a post. I’ve had some full days and needed to finish getting info together for a presentation on Japan and the triple disasters for a series of 6th grade classes. That went really well and I was able to cover a lot of ground in each 30-minute session – and no one was bored. The last couple days I’ve been thinking a lot about my Japanese heritage.

About every month or so
Daddy took us all to Japan Town,
Past Big John and Navy Pier
To a small piece of Chicago
Where another country lay.

We walked the concrete floors
Of the Star Market Grocery,
Looking at tubs, ice-packed
With slowly waving crabs,
Quiet clams and mussels.

We examined rows of dead fish
Sleeping in their crushed ice beds.
We looked at undecipherable markings
On packages of unidentifiable foods:
Dried black squiggles, grainy pink powder.

My mother was in her own little heaven,
My dad dreamed of meals to come.
But beyond the Field Museum goods,
My sister and I
Could only think of candy.

Child’s Lunch in Japan Town (tanka)

Oh, McDonalds,
How I long for your French fries
I don’t like sushi
It taste like fish and mushy.
Mom ignores my deep loud sighs

Linda Austin
“Cherry Blossoms in Twilight”


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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