1. I left three years ago.
2. If you want to know about my crime, ask Prosecutor Peter Carlisle.
3. If you want to know how much cash and drugs I had on me, ask my husband.
4. If you want to know where my husband is, ask his attorney, the guy who plea bargained so the State could get bigger fish.
5. If you want to know why the dealers don’t get caught, ask my cousin at W triple C who’s also a mule like me.
6. If you want to know why my cousin is a drug runner, ask her boyfriend who threatened to kill her if she didn’t do it.
7. If you want to know where my daughters Liana 6, Shawneen 10, and Cody 14 are, ask Human Services Director Lillian Koller.
8. If you want to know why I was moved from Women’s in Kailua to O triple C in Kalihi, ask the suicide watch supervisor who gives out the meds.
9. If you want to know why I got shipped thousands of miles away from home, ask the case worker who recommended me because she said I wouldn’t be a management problem.
10. If you want to know what the first Oklahoma winter was like, I have never been so cold in my life I thought I was going to die.
11. If you want to know why me, a kanaka maoli, is among so many Native Hawaiians in prison, ask the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
12. If you want to know why I had to leave the place where I was born, ask Governors Waihee, Cayetano and Lingle.
13. If you want to know if I still get family visits like before, the answer is no.
14. If you want to know if I’m allowed weekly phone calls to my daughters like before, the answer is no.
15. If you want to know if I’m off the waiting list and got my required substance abuse treatment class, the answer is no.
16. Sometimes I think no one cares about me, or remembers mothers and daughters who’ve gone away, or notices Hawaiians, or thinks prisoners matter because we’re out of sight, out of mind.
17. I don’t want to think about it any more.
18. I couldn’t wait anymore. So I left.
* After Bino A. Realuyo’s “From a Filipino Death March Survivor Whose World War II Benefits Were Rescinded by the U.S. Congress in 1946.”