"Second Chance"

I am an American
Japanese too
Born on January 30, 1919
Oakland, California, U.S.A
Where I was born on that day
Grew up pretty normal
Went to school
Did my tie
Until the day it happened
Executive Order #9066
Ordering our people to pick up and leave
Two-thirds of us are American
Through and through
They can’t make us do this
The Order’s unconstitutional
Don’t you agree
My parents came to America to have us be free
Listen, I get it
Japan bombed our ships
We had nothing to do with it, so stop with this nonsense
Let our people go
We had nothing to do with it
Let me just say
I like the way I look
But got plastic surgery to look white
Didn’t really want to go to an internment camp and die
Roamed the streets free for two whole years
Then I was caught
Told me they don’t want us Japs around anymore
I didn’t give up
Still had some fight left in me
Brought my case to the Supreme Court
Told them 9066 isn’t constitutional
They gave me their ruling
6-3 loss
Well at least I tried
Got 5 months probation
Now I have to get lost
My family and I went to a horse track
That’s where they held us
Internment camps were next
Topaz, Utah
Will never go back
Spent a year
Most spent people spent three
When I got out moved to Detroit, Michigan
Met my wife to be
She is the most beautiful human being I ever will see
Locked our eyes
Knew it was meant to be
Got married
Had two kids
Settled down
I tried to leave the past behind
Couldn’t do it
The case kept nagging at me
Nightmares filled my sleep
Just wish I could get another shot
That’s I want
Years passed
My children grew
1983 brought something new
Documents withheld in 1944
Came into the light
This is it
My second chance
Case was reopened
Couldn’t believe it
Convictions overturned
No more nightmares
I am whole again
I am me
This was meant to be
Now I help others like me
Got 20,000 donated to internment camp survivors
Worked as a civil rights activist
1998 got the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Clinton really made my day
Don’t have much time left
Can feel my lungs starting to give out
Death is near
I do not fear
Accomplished so much
Now it’s time to go
March 30, 2005
Breathing getting slow
Today is it
Goodbye everyone
It’s been a hell of a ride
Never give up
Never give up
Always stand up
Fight for what you believe in
Took in my last breath
And then I was gone

Author: joseph39 (Joseph Azar) on Friday, 24 May 2019
License: Copyright, all rights reserved
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