88 was open? That is a beautiful woman. So of course you stand and stare, never able to pinpoint the exact moment you killed her. Margaret Chula Equilibrium In Sacramento, I was a newspaperman, but now I stuff newspapers into cracks around the door frame, between the floorboards and into knotholes to keep sand, wind and rattlesnakes out of our barracks. Here at Topaz, the Jewel of the Desert, I have become a carpenter. I use my hands to make life in the camp bearable for my family. When we arrived, our shack held nothing but four army cots. For mattresses, we were given bags to be filled with straw. I salvaged lumber from the yard to build crude furniture a table, chairs, and a few shelves. Emi borrowed a broom and swept out the dust, then sewed curtains by hand to hang in the window. My son made a pull toy from the lids of tin cans. Mama came with us. She was an Issei and a poet. One day she wandered into the desert and never came back. I fashioned a box with no nails to hold her ashes. Emi made an ikebana from tumbleweeds.
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press