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2. Write in the voice of a person or object portrayed in the artwork.

02

from the car
I point to where the camp was—
Topaz Moon

 

Chiura Obata (1885-1975)
" Moonlight over Topaz", 1942
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
Photo source: PBS

Author's note: I went to high school in Salt Lake City in the 1960s. Our physics teacher had a rock hunting club, which introduced me to the Utah desert. My most vivid memory was a weekend excursion for trilobites and topaz. At one point as the camper was barreling down a desolate gravel road, he gestured out across the barren rangeland, and that was when I first learned about the internment camps. Less than fifteen years later, nothing remained, yet Obata's painting seems is eerily what I saw that day. Write in the voice of someone in the picture? The people don't show, but they are there: inmates, guards, the local folk from who came and went servicing the camp. I chose my teacher's voice, guessing that he had known it in operation.