Daryl Muranaka lives with his family in New England. In his spare time, he enjoys aikido and tai chi chuan and exploring his children’s dual heritages. He has written one book of poems, Hanami, and two chapbooks, The Minstrel of Belmont and Leading the Beast Home.
When I was younger, I dreamt of Japan,
and then one day I found myself there,
living like an echo no one understands,
living like a shadow fading in the glare
of time, of memories past and forgotten.
No one here ever seems to get that—
my old country wouldn’t wait for a son
it had never known, never knew it had.
But I am no Other, no enigma,
no inscrutable gene, nor foreign mind,
no horde, nor coolie, nor Sherpa.
Do not take, do not mock what is mine.
This is what I am, here now as a man.
Free to claim I am an American.