It's my birthday and I've just spoken with my
mother on the phone. I'm a little awkward talking to her just
now, on account of the column I wrote for foto8, a photography
magazine, about a picture taken when she was five. In the picture
she's sitting between her mother and father, looking very
solemn. It's the first time the family have been together in
two years. It's the last time they will ever be together. My
mother was a child internee of the Japanese, who took her prisoner
shortly after her second birthday. She was freed by Allied troops as
she turned six. Her father died in the prison camp. She remembers
hardly anything of her four years in captivity. I've
uncovered a lot, with the writer's insatiable appetite for a
story. I wish I could feel I was restoring her past, instead of
unsettling her present. The most she'll say is that
it's odd I know more about those four years than she does.
'Odd' doesn't sound so bad, to a writer,
but I'm not sure it's what I wanted to achieve.
- - -
Read SH's story, "The Rocket Laundry."
w i g · l e a F