Wednesday, December 9, 2020

For my Haumāna

Remember the year we spent in pō?

How all the things we thought we learned came back up 


And again

And again 

As if there was something we missed?

But couldn’t quite catch 

We spent days holding our breath turning our heads in circles until our faces were blue 


Remember those months we spent grieving

Sitting in our darkness 

Forgetting the light

Mourning a life 

That seemed so far away 

We questioned if it even happened? 


Remember how we (d)evolved

How we became a string of ones and zeros 

Represented in high definition 

But still

Carved out to fit in binary 

In someone else’s algorithm

Living our lives in 75 minute increments 


Remember all the mele we lost 

How we forgot how to sing in harmony

or at least in unison

How we sat there in our own void


Constantly facing our disconnection 

When you reached out for pilina 

Do Remember the thumbnails that starred back at you?

How you wondered if you would ever know the tenor of their sighs

Or the emails

Remember the endless strings of emails 

One after the other

Each a reminder that 

No one seems to have escaped this heaviness 

This flood 

This deluge 

How your haumāna 

Endured challenges you cannot even imagine

Losses you dont know how to hold or comfort 

All from behind the lonely blue glow of a computer monitor

Hearts trembling 

Hands hovering over the unmute button


Remember how your employer did give a fuck 

And insisted you evaluate them with a letter grade anyway 

How the failures of “leadership” soon began to not surprise

As the body count continued to rise 


Remember How so many times you wished

You could reach out to them 

Your students 

With more than an arm of an email thread 

With more than 

Ke aloha nō

How many times you wondered if they felt your sincerity

Or if it had been distorted through the microphone 

Caught and lost somewhere in the endless ether lodged between you


I dont think I will ever forget 

The way this silence broke us like a flood summer rain 

Like a storm shaking us from the summit 

Just like we wont forget how we survived still

Beside each other

Even Thousands of miles away 

The lines of mana wahine we endured to create

Armed held out taut across the oceans and continents 

Made something old 

Almost familiar 

Out of something so strange, distant 

And inhumane 


Most of all I wonder what will remain

Will they know

My haumāna

How I wished so much more for us

For them, for sure 

How most nights I stayed awake paralyzed by our collective anxiety 

How I wanted to show them this ʻāina that has loved and made me

How I wanted to turn our hands together, down to her

So they might have the chance to be loved

And made again too 


But instead 

What we have together is this pō

This dark and churning heat 

Still expanding, growing around us 

Into something I dont know how to hold

All we have is this quiet between us

And the knowing that something better 

or simply something else is soon coming