"Stars & Stripes Forever"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 28, 2018

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Submitted: August 28, 2018

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“Stars & Stripes Forever”

 

“Stars and Stripes Forever”

1942:

These kids said the pledge together.

A homefront battle with a hated enemy,

Quiet sadness and melancholy of

The Japanese,

Americans like you or me, but

Nationality suddenly becomes a funny thing

When ignorance and hatred cloud humanity

And the rules can change whether in war

Or

Peace.

 

Given a white tag and a relocation pass,

Calling it ‘evacuation’, but 

Packed into Union Station as an

Internment cast.

Not told where to go, but

Temporarily relocated while your whole 

Existence is put on hold.

“The war can’t last forever, so -

Be a Lion Heart with the face of 

Hope.”

We resemble the Axes in more ways than

I care to note.

 

Given just 3 preparation days,

Angry mobs of whites standing

Behind barricades,

Shouting as their fellow Americans 

Walked by,

Multi-generations fade as in waves 

swept away,

To Bainbridge Island and Manzanar,

Or any of many an unknown place;

While Army trucks rumbled to stops,

Unloading the elderly, crippled apparently

By the way that they walked.

Cleared from the Hospitals,

Sick and infirm, but

Internmed as well,

Bewildered and not knowing what

Was happening to them -

Or why -

Because they were American now.

But melting pot citizenship,

America glorified,

In the face of internment, never felt more

Like a lie.

 

And as our countrymen saw their entire

Lives upturned,

A Nation celebrated and on the carnival air

You heard

The notes float from the gramophones of all the

White folks’ homes:

“Stars and Stripes Forever”

But Japs . . . 

Go Home.


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