For My Father

You mesmerized me
with your great stories and your
Kaua`i pidgin,
the language teachers
couldn't knock out of your head
although they tried hard.

If I had problems,
they would be your problems, me
wrapped tight in your arms.
You were so strong it
was as if you were holding
back a river then,
And now it is as
If you are holding up the
weight of your whole world.

In Kane`ohe
In pouring rain and sunshine
Your body lies still.

Around me veterans
pay respect to stone markers,
relatives and friends
grown old or too young.

A little boy runs circles
through manicured graves.
Just as I wonder
If his parents would be mad
with him doing this,
a woman calls out.
They will go home without lunch
if he won’t stop now.

Where they would go now
I don’t know. But for us what
I would want most is
if we could now just
go to eat favorite foods
together again.
If only I could
I’d take you to the best plate
lunch places or to
Zippy’s for saimin
or oxtail soup or tripe stew.
The fried seafood plate.
It would be better
than trying to touch you through
solid red dirt layers.

That’s the rest of it.
That the world goes black for us
all in the sure end.

The coming of night
Tells me of the day dying
In Ko`olau rain.
And I can’t block out
the way time and the world will
rush us to silence.

Mahalo for reading!

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