My father in Hawaii
The gardens in Kaimuki recall childhood dreams:
black crater of diamond head
like the mountain over the Dal Lake
and the little stream behind the apartment
seems like the shrunken Apple River
the fence preventing the exploration
of the lock in its way
before it meets the big water.
The park atop St. Louise Heights
with its pine trees
and the bowl of Manoa at our feet
like the clumps of trees
beyond the clearing of Gopadri hill.
Walking up and down the hillside above our home
was like a little pilgrimage
to the goddess of the isles
a sister to the sparrow goddess
of our old city.
We searched for him
asked goddess Pele
who breathes fire and lava
drove over the winding mountains of Maui
searched again in the beaches at Lanikai
amongst the surfers at Waikiki
at the reefs of Hanauma bay
on the warrior boat
pulled by synchronized oars
returning past sunset.
The children are dazed
and a wail---
deeper than sorrow or regret---
emerged from the hollow of my heart.
My mother cried for months and said:
A light joined another light