Camp Stories

Noriko Nakada

Glass marbles in

pants pockets and

a forever

train ride rumbling

toward a mountain

shaped like a heart

keeping close watch

over barracks

coated in grit,

dust, desert sky

friends spin glass in

powdery dirt

beneath towers

beside gardens,

blocks, and school yards

where brown boys crawl

beneath barbed wire

and crack cold, dark


across their knees

and the hearts seem

even sweeter

because for a

few moments they

are free.



Noriko Nakada

The wind tonight

presses us all

away from the

ocean, in-land

toward the past

away from the

edge to where the

air is dry, the

sky is high and

mountains stretch to

the stars.

The wind tonight

pushes into

dusty canyons

presses dirt in

cracks, and frees fronds

from trunks with an

urgency that

has us all so


after all of

these years.

Noriko Nakada writes, blogs, tweets, parents, and teaches middle school in Los Angeles. She is committed to writing thought-provoking creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. Publications include two book-length memoirs: Through Eyes Like Mine and Overdue Apologies, and excerpts, essays, and poetry in Lady Liberty Lit, Catapult, Meridian, Compose, Thread, Hippocampus, The Rising Phoenix Review, and Linden Avenue. Visit her website for more information.
Published September 15, 2017
© 2017 Noriko Nakada