There is one front and one battle where everyone in the United States—every man, woman, and child—is in action and will be privileged to remain in action throughout this war. That front is right here at home, in our daily lives and in our daily tasks. Here at home everyone will have the privilege of making whatever self-denial is necessary, not only to supply our fighting men, but to keep the economic structure of our country fortified and secure during the war and after the war.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s radio broadcast to the nation, April 28, 1942

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Bus



The bus is fairly crowded.
A dark-haired girl
of about my age
sits alone in the seat
opposite mine,
her face turned
toward the window.

A woman of my mother’s age
climbs aboard.
She could be
anyone’s mother—
a typical American woman.
She walks down the aisle.
The girl turns to face her.

The woman stops.
Her face contorts.
She purses her lips.
A glob of spit flies across the aisle.
"Go back to Japan!" she hisses
as the girl wipes her face.

It’s funny how everyone
on the bus suddenly
finds something of interest
to look at through the window
or down at their feet—
including me.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

No comments: