EP: The Question of Loyalty By Mitsuye Yamada

I met the deadline

for alien registration

once before

was numbered fingerprinted

and ordered not to travel

without permit.

But alien still they said I must

foreswear allegiance to the emperor.

For me that was easy

I didn’t even know him

but my mother who did cried out

If I sign this

What will be?

I am doubly loyal

to my American children

also to my own people.

How can double mean nothing?

I wish no one to lose this war.

Everyone does.

I was poor

at math

I signed

my only ticket out.

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