I love the way I hate this place.
We left Hawai'i in '85. Good riddance
To the cockroaches and the high rent,
The even higher humidity and the rock fever.
Standing over a sink in Seattle one night
I heard Garrison Keillor on the radio talking
In Blaisdell Arena about the warm air
Caressing his face. I became mystified
By the sudden tears caressing my nose.
I was advising students from Hawai'i who were
Attending the University of Washington:
Garrett from Pearl City, Shelly from Wailuku,
Clarissa from Kane'ohe, the same town
Where my wife was raised. Homesick,
They brought a lu'au to the Northwest
Each April, small pieces of Hawai'i
In orchids, haupia, hulas, and ukuleles
But there is no way to bring small pieces
Of Hawai'i to anyplace else and have them fit.
So we came back, lashed by my wife's
Longing for the caresses of the wind
That I could not give her by myself
In those dark, cold nights of Seattle.
Now the warm evenings wrap us together
I hate the way I love this place.