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Copyright protected Piper Selden
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At home in Hilo        
it bothers me still
to be a newcomer, malihini.
Obvious as a loud Aloha shirt
and sunburned cheeks,
I wear haole like a bulky camera
around my neck.

In my sleep, Pele smiles.
I order saimin
and know how to make
ono SPAM musubis
that stay together
and do not fall apart.

I dance hula with grace and beauty
like my dream Tutu showed me -
lovely hands and naughty hips
barefoot on Sandman’s Beach.
Brother plays sweet ukulele
as Aunties and Uncles smile.
Family washes over me like tide.

But of course morning comes.
A chorus of mynas announce dawn
just moments before the sun’s long leg
touches the tallest coco palm
on this, my borrowed island home.

And until I learn the ancient secret,
my failed SPAM musubi and I
are just visitors here.

~by Piper Selden

Published by East Hawaii Observer, #11/2005