The Doll House

Fine furniture made in the late years
between World Wars and marked “Germany”
sits on tiny needlepoint rugs
Mother made one summer.

Rearranged first by me
and then by the careful fingertips
of daughter and granddaughters,
miniature dishes and lamps
have lost their tags and stamps
that said “Made in Japan.”

Two weeks after the bombs
fell on Hawaii
Mother and I went downtown
to the small shop
a few steps off Broadway
eager to buy candlesticks
or vases of flowers
from the almond eyed woman
and her slender husband.

Hand in hand we stared
at the empty shop
door with a cross of raw lumber
battered plate glass window
held in place by wide strips of tape.

“Where did thy go?”
She shook her head.
It would be four years before
we realized
the full meaning of the word
“internment.”

©2010, Janet Taliaferro