Cat’s Cradle By Noriko Nakada

Cat’s Cradle

Fingers tug loops of yarn
middle fingers graze palms
starting this Cat’s Cradle
dance inside twine pulled tight
between dry space of hands.

Two partners play this game
for children, one not yet
resurrected like the
origami box, the
fortune teller, card games.

I imagine you and
my young son sitting next
to one another, hands
bound together in play.
Do these strings reach across

generations? Does thread
pull and stretch, connecting
my son’s new words to the
words you are forgetting?
As intermittent pulls

into my boy’s brain, does
it loosen like mud from
yours? Fingers pinch across
diamonds, circle muscle.
Should I wish my son mute

and keep your stories tied
safely inside you for
a few more day, months, years?
Can my son’s words wait? When
pinkies finally cross

and the bridge of hands turn
upside down, pulling strings
tight, to circle and leap
cuffing our hands, leaving
behind this mess of worry.

By Noriko Nakada


Noriko Nakada is a multi-racial Asian American who creates fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art to capture the stories she has been told not to talk about. She is the author of the Through Eyes Like Mine memoir series. Excerpts, essays, and poetry have been published in The Rising Phoenix Review, Hippocampus, Catapult, Linden Ave, and elsewhere.

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