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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 3, September 2017

Kristine J. Anderson
West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.A.


My aunt, near ninety, reminisced about her youth and my father’s. She told of his love for a Chinook woman, whom he frequently crossed the river to visit. “We all thought he was going to marry her,” she said. “But no, soon he took up with that other woman, that Eva, whom none of us liked.” “If he had married the Indian, “ I responded, “I would not have existed, there would have been no me.” “Sure you would,” she scoffed; “your skin would just be darker.”

reflecting skyscraper
clouds dissolve
into rain

If Mom had not met Dad at that dance and pursued him, because he was already married and father to a little brown girl, maybe she would have hooked up with one of those guys in the sepia photographs, his arm casually placed across her shoulders. She would never say much about those men, some in sailor suits. “Oh just someone I went out with once or twice—I can’t remember his name.” Would that be me, formed from the clay made of Mom and Mr. Mystery, possibly a navy man serving his country on the ocean blue?

Who looks out these eyes? A half-breed or the child of a sailor lost at sea?



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