The following is the second of two short stories by Yosh Golden, who was born behind the barbed wire at Manzanar during World War II. This story, along with Desert Birth – June 1944, is the foundation for the upcoming film, The Song, a short film based on Manzanar, and the Japanese American Incarceration story. Originally published in Northwestern University’s Triquarterly Online (Issue 140, Summer/Fall 2011). It is reprinted here with permission.
Former Manzanar incarceree Yosh Golden (center), who was born at Manzanar during World War II, shares her knowledge and experience during a small group discussion at the 2013 Manzanar At Dusk program.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee
by Yosh Golden
Toby, the newly married grandson, greets Grandmother Sachie with his usual cheerfulness. It barely covers the concern in his voice. His bride, with a smile, gently greets Grandmother and grasps her once-strong hands. Grandmother is awake but a little groggy from the morphine required to quell the pain deep inside her wasting body, which in decades past gave birth to many vigorously healthy infants.
Words are quietly shared. Then a wrenching sob emerges from Grandmother’s throat, filling the silent spaces in adjoining rooms. Startled, Sachie’s oldest daughter quickly enters the room as Grandmother pleads: “Don’t let her be alone, Toby. Don’t let her be alone…don’t let her be lonely.”
Read more of this post