Monday, February 11, 2008
I Am From
I am from black sand beaches licked by warm purple seas, from stiff new Weejuns penny loafers and the Ko’olau Mountains wreathed in mists of the gods.
I am from picture posed houses, Daddy’s big squishy chair and the blue electric sizzle of termites greeting death in the bug light. From musty books and midnight rainstorms, ancient bullfrogs and proud roosters.
I am from the stiff lauhala tree, roots stacked like a bonfire, orange crepe paper ilima fashioned into lei, the rainbow halo of the full moon on a clear Hawaiian night. From creaking bamboo and the whisper of a carp tail breaking free from the water, buzzing mosquitoes and ducks nesting in trees.
I am from stockings before Mass on green Christmas mornings and too flat button noses. From Mollie and Kekaula and all the Kanamus, steadfast and prudent, holding tight to the land.
I am from the perfect family and secrets, in dark corners of basements. From hallways and pianos, frozen fragments of time, from lawnmower furrowed grass and tangerine trees.
I am from because I said so and troll hair unbound, dancing untamed. From a breath never exhaled and a prayer waiting to be granted.
I am from a crucifix strung from the rafters, incense jangled into smoke. From questions and white lace mantilla dusting brown braids pulled tight. I am from Our Father and dry wafers on moist tongues, alleluia and amen.
I am from ti leaf offerings of gin placed carefully to appease, from rocks stolen and returned, giving peace to a soul.
I'm from England and China, the Emerald Isle and the North American plains. I am from royalty of Hawai’i and Germany, lau lau and garlic crusted lamb chops.
I am from the Hawaiian boy in Boston on a corner in the snow, from the first and final stop of an adventure around the world, from the daughter left alone to wait for a miracle. I am from summers on the lake in Tennessee and kick the can in the dark of a neighborhood street. I am from chlorine and salt water, concrete and sand.
I am from the drumbeat of paddles on koa canoes and words stolen by strangers being reclaimed by fresh voices. I am from my grandfather, my grandchild, my inner child, my crone. I am from what has been and what is yet to come, from wisdom and faith.
Thank you Molly for the challenge.