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The Best American Poetry blog, May 2, 2011 Asian Pacific Islander American poetry.



He remembers breaking ice in the pitcher,
washing in the attic. It was Indiana,
celery cabbage/ bok choy / daikon
and his father chasing him
around the barn.

Eight children, mules, a cow
more trouble than good.
She got constipated, the vet
burned warts off her udder,
her calf died.

His name was Yoshizo then.
He had a dog named Bosco.
Big Ole the Swede gave him snuff,
a big pinch, he threw up 

Dad, that’s all I know.
So I imagine that
the boy with his .22 climbs the fence.
Down by the creek, face close to the water
he throws pebbles at waterbugs.
Through a thunderhead’s shadow
sees a frog kicking upward,
a golden eye.

Patricia Y. Ikeda
– published in House of Wood, House of Salt, Cleveland State University Press, 1978