Lei ho'okupu

Each of were to take a turn weaving our mana into the lei ho'okupu
Among us were poets and composers that easily traversed
In English and olelo Hawaii, at will
In between, were skilled practitioners in lawai'a,
Mahi'ai, loko'ia –
Commanders of the arts and ocean navigation
Connecting them were Kumu hula
With hands marked with the mo'olelo of Laka, Pele, and Hi'iaka,
Voices that could call the winds,
And speak the names of places that have since been lost
Hidden among these treasures
Was me
Unmarked and ordinarily aware of my difference
As it became my turn at the lei ho'okupu
I prayed my hands would follow the ohi'a Lehua,
The 'a'ali'i, the Palapalai
I carefully chose my bundles
Within my hands are each small piece of me
At the lei table I'm told, "No worry, there's no pattern."
I know what it means,
But to me, it means acceptance.

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