and crest

Sophie led Amy out of the darkened funeral parlor and sat down on a bench in the foyer. She looked around to make sure the funeral director was out of earshot.

You know the start of the story already. How your great-grandfather Ichiro came over to Gold Mountain right after Emperor Meiji opened the gates of Japan. He entered in the wave of great hope, just before the white hatred that kept others out. He followed the rails, saved his money, and bought land out as far east as he could. He bought here before Boulder had more than four streets. And farmed his land by himself. No one would work for a jap.

My mother, your great-grandmother, Yuki came over after the Gentleman's Agreement, an allowed picture bride. They never told me about those days. The only thing mother told me is that I was named Sophie for the neighbor who saved her life, coming over to midwife when the doctor refused to come.

One thing your great-grandfather did tell me, after he had had cups and cups of homemade sake with cinnamon. How all those ill looks, people talking over you as if you didn't exist, people refusing to let you pass or sell you eggs just mound up, until one tiny incident crests over with rage, towering like some invicible nemesis until you can't bear it anymore. Then just the act of not bearing the pain brings the whole wave crashing down, subsiding in the sand to some bearable, sustainable level.

I think the wave must have been cresting when he built that drum.

Sophie's voice went on in the quiet carpeted hall. Amy stared at the thin rays of sun streaming from the dark burgundy curtains of the shrouded window.

waves hunch / and crest / in empty air / strike madly on / the shore forever / churn spray / retreat to / breathe again

the word is / the sound / of water / dripping from/ ancient symbols / tiny particles / of merging / realities

Follow us all: Amy/Anna, Sophie/Yuki, Kit/Richard, minor characters or sift through water leavings and river journeys.