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Our Mothers Are Sisters.

we've never set foot in the archipelago of their lineage
where women slip away from the village at night
for rituals in the sacred grove
their kaminchu robes white
their headdresses woven of huge leaves

our sons don't read the poems we write
they live in the grey hive of a city
attuned to them before they first leaped
like silver fish in our wombs
we're dismissed now with a puff of smog

you harbor a man who bundles your emanations
into sheaves filling the hull of a boat
he pulls long oars into waters of the new moon
he's away to find himself he says
his name burning a circle in your palm until

there's a hole in the sky around your body
his shadow falls through it
and wraps around you like a photograph
it shreds you and scatters you
into puddles between roots of old trees

I bend over your pieces sinking black and white
I slide my palm under one of your eyes
vanishing into me like a grainy memory
leaves redden the ground marking the kamidaari path
the forest turns inward like a wind-blown page

it refuses to take me with you
I have the only daughter to raise
my reflection is fractured in currents on the surface
your voices rise through the water
invisible birds singing from petals
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Article Details
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Publication:Bamboo Ridge, Journal of Hawai'i Literature and Arts
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 22, 2013
Words:224
Previous Article:Some Places Wait: Ke'anae Peninsula.
Next Article:Aloha? No.

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