paper son

<<written & performed by byron yee>>

Detained in this wooden house for several tens of days,

It is all because of the Mexican exclusion law which implicates me,

It's a pity heroes have no way of exercising their prowess.

I can only await the word so that I can snap Zu's whip.

From now on, I am departing far from this building.

All of my fellow villagers are rejoicing with me.

Don't say that everything within is Western styled.

Even if it is built of jade, it has turned into a cage.

(Note:  This is the largest carving at Angel Island and is generally credited with saving the barracks.  It is located in a small room in the center of the building, away from the Men's Barracks where the majority of poems are located.)

Poem Translations Courtesy of University of Washington Press.  "Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940", ISBN 0-295-97109-6.

To read all of the Angel Island poems, order "Island" from

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