Day 262 – in our backyard

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Day 262
9:44 pm

in our backyard

i knew of the strawberry fields
and the gardeners
those were our families picking
up their lives by driving their
fingers through the dirt

i knew of what came before
the trucking company next
to Marukai on Artesia and
the anger my grandpa felt
at losing his nursery twice
once for war
once again for the 405
no more to see the
Kato Nursery sign right
where you enter now to go
buy your Japanese groceries

i knew of the park where
we practiced tennis
and how Ryan would pretend
he didn’t know me since
i was two years younger
and just
a doubles player

i never knew of the willow trees

they sit there
just south of us
bracing each other
hiding out right across
the parking lots and
freeway exits
weaving silver webs
in the humidity
of Gardena on a
late spring day

when we finally get to
greet them
i can already tell
i will want to cry
as i turn underneath
their splendor
wondering how i could
have never known
they’ve been there
my whole life



About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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