Ojichan | Teen Ink


April 3, 2015
By DrummerHoff GOLD, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
DrummerHoff GOLD, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
10 articles 18 photos 1 comment

          Rohwer, Arkansas—
the middle of nowhere if you’re from Arkansas
the middle of ‘that’s a place’ if you’re not
Unremarkably flat and barren but for the
barracks that showed up one day
Like your presence in the land of the free
home of the racist


You spent your childhood there—
your growing up years—
under the prying eyes of a
in a guard tower
and the watchful eye of his M1903

You achieved greatness despite the 1942
Just ask Wikipedia
“Notable Internees”—like you did a
stint under the limelight while you were there
or something
Janice Mirikitani—poet laureate of
          San Francisco
and George Takei—he stole your name
Just a few of the camp’s claims to fame


They labeled you as
took away your father
sent your brothers off to fight—a
war against themselves
Worked your mother’s hands raw
refused you an
but offered manual labor in its place

In a world that saw you as only three letters
You showed them that
was just a color—a color to be
proud of
Just like your almond eyes and
your forgiving nature

The author's comments:

Didicated to my Ojichan, my greatest inspiration and role model. I love you, Grandpa. 

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