Photo: by genie nakano of genie nakano, 11.15.21

I was born
with two strikes
against me
Asian and…
my mother didn’t like me

I wanted
to be golden
wear a curly
blonde crown of
 Shirley Temple locks

Into my teens
I streamed, oye
orale pues orale pues
I poemed my story
right on write on

became my call
I danced the moves
wore the hats
and sang off key

Now at 73
a hybrid a tribrid a unitard
something in between
a floating world
I was, will be, I am

genie Nakano,

Published by genienakano

I love writing--It's my joy, my therapy--my confession. I'm a performer, dancer, yoga and meditation instructor, write a poetry column for Rafu Shimpo. Growth and love of life is a key to my happiness.

4 thoughts on “IDENTITY“`tanka

  1. It took me a loooong time. I don’t think an Asian sorority would have helped me. So glad you discovered yourself in college. Actually sometimes I ‘m still trying to figure it all out. Probably why I write so much.


  2. Hi Genie;

    Because I also grew up in a non-Asian neigborhood, I too, found myself wanting to be “golden”. It was only when I attended college and joined an all Asian sorority did I shed my ideals of “becoming white”; Life became less conflicted…

    Christine Chuman ________________________________


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