Paper Alien, 1942 – Sara Truuvert

“I do not think that any question of nationality should prevent our having the right to advocate… their complete removal to their own country. Their country should never have been Canada… I do not believe the Japanese are an assimilable race.”

                      – Ian MacKenzie, Federal cabinet minister, 1942


Already fatherless, I am
Damp origami beneath our sink.

Papa watches the ocean,
While soldiers fold his passport pages
Into Boeings and launch them west.

I must not yell,
“It is our sink our sponge our rusty piping!”

At the water, a boxcar—
Like damp origami, Papa folds himself
Amongst so many origami Papas.

“Our Papas our papers!” I use the Metro Vancouver
To fold my voice into cranes.

The soldiers approach. From the water,
A piper hurries, a pebble tumbles, a gull soars,

Chasing the wind across the sand—
Never before has he been so enormous.

Sara Truuvert is a Japanese-Estonian writer from Toronto. She completed her MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Puritan Literary Magazine,  Arc Poetry Magazine, the Literary Review of Canada, and elsewhere.

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