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ala wai canal 1920 to 1928

 

 

 

KAPIOLANI

Here beneath Leahi
Where the grass is green
In the shade of tall palms,
A family spreads
Playing ball
The baby boy yanking
Handfuls
Of grass
Amazed
At the texture
The cool
Thin pleasure. Fifteen years earlier
Now twenty
My grandmother
Walked beneath
Billowing clouds
In a sky so blue
Time lost all meaning
For a moment
As her toes sunk
In the memory of the grass
I played here when I was a child
She said.
We played here. Here we played.
Her eyes held that moment
And her lips curled into a smile. Now the girls are racing
from palm to palm
and their brother curls
his toes in the grass.
Their mother is asleep
On the green sheet.
The sun like an old friend
Plays on my shoulders.
They are big enough to hold
The sun.
They are big enough to shade
My son.
The girls run.
Brown limbs flash.
One hundred years ago
Brown limbs flash.
Toes curl into grass,
And remember.
Funny how the toes remember.
Remember to remember.

Peter Britos, 2004