Wednesday, July 24, 2019

For all the aunties, but especially for Mary Maxine Lani Kahaulelio


Aunty says
She climbed a 90 foot cliff in the dark
Traced the scars of a long forgotten waterfall
Cried as she felt the green disappearing under her fingertips And i learn
That aloha is courage steeped in mourning

Aunty says
This arrest bond is the most important paper I own She holds it out like a certificate of her lineage
And I learn
To be born kanaka means to take pride in the fight Means to understand the polity of our bodies

Aunty says malama kou kino
Says don’t take no fucking shit from nobody
Not even our own men
And I learn that there are so many violences that will come for me Too many to count
Too many to turn to metaphor
Too violating to write into this poem

Aunty says she sees hope in me And I watch her overflow
Says she dreamed of this day And I learn

That genealogy is a promise to take your place amongst you’re greatest hero’s in this mo’olelo

Aunty says I love you
And I stand in her shadow, expanding
And every fear in me evaporates
Every doubt casts itself aside
Every whisper that does me no service is carried away And I become
Everything she dreamed I could be

I become an aunty too
A mauna

My mo’opuna will stand in the malu of

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