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Half Girl from Full Mother

Long before my mother was ever a child,
She dreamt of my face as her Eurasian song,
Never looking away at my round Asian eyes,
She stared instead deeply, and flowered my rise.

Half Japanese in the length of her sash,
That she folded in silks, she knew me well
Not part of the crowd, and yet full and strong,
We cradled our comforts, as she knew we belonged.

Wanting for nothing in the sorrows of war,
She told herself stories of a day that would pass
When the farmlands her parents grew out of a dream,
Would return with her brothers, in a day of clear sheen.

The terrors of imagining, when she could not sleep,
As she watched her homeland wither weary and deep
Strengthened her mothering, made her dream long,
Of a day when our bonding would sing like a song.

It must have been somber and beautiful still,
As she picked through the land as a poor laid-out girl
Cultivating crops that seemed impossibly dead,
While her torn skirts ruffled in dust and bloodshed.

Still, she whispered in dawn and at dusk,
That I would be blossomed and ripened one day
Still, she called out my name in the dark,
As if everyone heard her as if a keen lark.

With all young men gone for a trench-mouthed war,
Young sisters and mothers hummed and soared
With pans and pots filled with heavy warm soups,
Awaiting each letter and grounded for troops.

Never a lyric was told for her pains,
As she walked liked a princess with nothing to gain
Never I watched her cry or gleam sorrows,
About such sad yesterdays, fears of tomorrows.

Whispering in tongues from a place in her heart,
My mother once told me about my place
I was dreamt of in slumber and kept of notes high,
My half-slanted eyes was her beaming joy-sky.

One day she told me while her face wilted strong,
That there was never a time I could not belong
Even though I cried lightly when called a half-breed,
She lilted and pronounced me a full-seasoned seed.

Birthed by two races, felt into my bones,
I carried all shadows of cultural tone
Yellow and white, the colors of spring,
The waxing and waning of all belonging.

At last my song of the half-girl is sung,
As I spiral it along for my mother's face
At last I have wandered into the song,
That can only be hindered from too much grace.

My mother in her twenties, dressed in a kimono

© 2014 Francesca Biller

hapa Mixed poem poetry