Posted in Book Stuff

women of Japan, a poem


One day
At a market where all the Japanese-Americans go
Someone called out and stopped me in my tracks
At the corner of the mall is an izakaya
Where they serve simmering kiriboshi daikon and hijiki
Next to that is a curry shop
Where they serve katsu curry and other things
Next to that is a Japanese-style cake shop
Where they serve strawberry shortcake
And in the fall, Mont Blanc
Next to that is the Japanese market
An old woman works there, her job is promotion
She yells in English with a strong accent
Probably in her late sixties, probably born and raised in Japan
Came here when she was young, life here is probably longer
Never will return
She uses only Japanese with her family
When she speaks in Japanese
Her children and grandchildren respond only in English
Today, just now, she yelled
And stopped a single woman
Chotto okusan yottette! Good sauce ga included yo!
I was the one she stopped

This is an excerpt–the whole is worth reading. Click on the link above for it.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

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