“yoko” by Tracy Wai de Boer1 min read

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Illustration by Katya Roxas

when i was a child
i’d mistake her
for my mother
…..or my mother
for her

in the roundness of her face
circular cheeks forever youthful
black wire horsehair
artist’s hands
crow’s feet

softest smileshe knows herself
as a woman,
much taller

but the hatred poured
upon her
….to recognize
from a past
of pain

scald her with blame
they say
she deserves it

mistake memories
for make believe

came home one day
found letters carved
across wooden doors

sanded them down
to four perfect circles
that there were words
for us
we could not return

Tracy Wai de Boer is a writer from Calgary, and currently living in Toronto. She is half-Chinese on her mother’s side and explores mixed race identity in much of her work. She has held a residency at the Banff Centre and published work in Plenitude, Catapult, Front Lines, and Hypatia.

Katya Roxas is a Communications Officer at UBC Library who has experience with branding, content creation and social media. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Arts, specializing in graphic design and illustration, and a Diploma in Digital Marketing and Communications. Born and raised in the Philippines, Katya is well-versed with the sacrifices and opportunities that come with being an immigrant. Through her experiences, she strives to break the barriers of cultural misrepresentation by creating honest and inclusive visual expressions.

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