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Mighty Willamette!
Beautiful friend,
I am learning,
I am practicing
To say your name.

Sure, I go to school
Same as you,
I’m an American.

Who? What?
When? Where?
Why?

Rounded up
In the sweltering yard.
Unable to endure any longer
Standing in line
Some collapse.

— Shizue Iwatsuki

Shizue Iwatsuki immigrated to the U.S. in 1916 with her husband. They settled in Hood River, Oregon, where she raised strawberries and apples to help feed their three children. In 1926, the Iwatsukis became founding members of Hood River’s Japanese Methodist Church. During WWII, Shizue and her husband were incarcerated at Pinedale Assembly Center. From there, they were sent to Tule Lake Prison Camp in California, then Minidoka Prison Camp in Idaho. These “mini-poems” come from the Standing Stones of the Japanese America Historical Plaza in Portland, Oregon.