My ohana, I must leave you soon.
Bury me with koa leaves and shells,
place pikake flowers around my neck,
red dirt between my toes.
Once, I wanted to rest beneath the Pali cliffs
where I could hear the ocean
and receive its calm.
I live in the desert now, a place no less beautiful
but far from the temple grasses
of our ancestors.
Do not grieve for me.
Watch for my lantern in the night sky
guiding boats into the harbor.
Trish Saunders writes poems from Seattle and Honolulu (and, in her imagination, from the shores of Crater Lake, Oregon). She’s been widely published in print and digital poetry journals; some favorites are Right Hand Pointing, Blast Furnace Press, Eunoia, Califragile.
Photograph of Koolau Mountains by Debra Jean.