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Gardening Shears

Gardening Shears
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“Gardening Shears” by Amy Uyematsu   Anyone who truly knows Southern California understands the longheld secret about “my Japanese gardener”— the handiwork of issei and nisei gardeners still showcased from the tract homes of West Los Angeles to the manicured pines and cypress trees of wealthy Hancock Park estates. This wasn’t true before the war, […]

Air Raid

Air Raid

               Why did you bring me here?                     Why did you bring me here? child screams cries ramp up                        tears avalanche wraps body around mom pulls away from nurse   Why you stick me? answer on hold try to explain vaccination to a four year old.     Copyright © “Air […]

Welcome to Pasadena, Where Everything Is Perfect

Welcome to Pasadena, Where Everything Is Perfect

I live in Dallas now, but until October 15, 2014, and for thirty-two years before that, I lived in Pasadena. To confess that I miss Pasadena is such an understatement that I may as well not even enter the confessional. It is like saying “I like dessert” when the reality is that I would live […]

Enough For Now

Enough For Now

Enough For Now by Chris Annak   Sometimes It’s enough to care enough to laugh enough to listen enough to nod enough to tell enough to see enough to touch enough to heal enough to calm enough to assent enough to cry enough to love enough to change It’s enough to hold on to hope. […]

Saudade

Saudade

“Saudade…” The word rolls off of my tongue like cement, wet and thick and heavy. I don’t know what it means, but I want to. Coming off the plane, our eyeglasses fog up, temporarily blinded, we fumble about, looking for family. “Saudade!” His grandmother, large and soft and dripping, speaks rapidly in a language I […]

The First

The First

Cold sweat fractures sleep no place to lay burden down racism stifles dreams slights insults stick alone inside rage rattles   cannot let people down chorus of voices echo do not resist back of bus bumped flights lost accommodations   first time in play fans gawk great black hope swings bat Crack! home run run […]

Oh to Sing

Oh to Sing

Oh to sing! To Eric Whitacre Oh to sing! To have been born with the ability ever so easily to unleash – like the rain, or a Lyre bird, or, in late summer, the cicadas – a cascade of beautiful sound. But that is not my gift. Instead I must rest content to craft my […]

Grandmother’s Insomnia

Grandmother’s Insomnia

Grandmother’s Insomnia by Thelma T. Reyna   She awaits daylight on the skinny edge of her daughter’s cot, rolled away in mornings, at night a rusty sentry in the spidered corner of the hall. Like a wax figure melting, she sinks to her knees, now permanently ahead from prayer, her paper lips whispering the Credo, […]

Special

Special

                    A clam shell rises from watery depths, she’s a beauty, her strawberry blonde adorned by rosebuds wrapping her waist. The museum label reads: Botticelli, “Venus,” this what must be meant by peaches and cream. Her face, that pure. I count three eyes, knowing people will […]

Scribblings: Week 25

Scribblings: Week 25

Back in the day, when I had a yard and a garden, I spent more hours than I ever spent in a church on my knees. And while no organ might boom, no priest intone, no choir sing, and no stained glass window throw rainbows across the back of a pew, I prayed. I prayed […]

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