At the bend in the Kamehameha Highway
just past the shrimp truck and shave-ice shack
my cabdriver smokes and glares. Waits.
I’m leaving my island home now, just
one last look back at the Pali cliffs.
It was dangerous to live here so long.
The years rolled backward
and I became a spear thrower,
suspicious of change.
I noticed years passing when my hands
suddenly looked older,
the Ko’olaus. Goodbye, then.
Mahalo, Marcia, friend from my youth.
We saw our aging bodies reflected
in the other’s glances, and
discreetly looked away.
To my mother Sara—
your ashes have joined
the Pacific by now, small birds
in the refuge have swallowed you.
My sisters and I will wait for you
in our small twin beds, willing
your yellow hair to fall
across our faces at night,
the storybook open in your hands.