My father dreams of ancient banyan trees,
he sees ghosts in the tall temple grass,
smells rain on abandoned sugar cane.
He watches the ocean and waits.
My father sees a tall ship in Honolulu Harbor,
silent and crewless, bobbing with the waves,
and my father thinks it is
there for him.
Listen, I tell him, that ship is all in your mind
but he counters, You see it too–
and it’s true, I see it, pale and shifting
like Molokai sands.
My father remembers flames
and torpedoes flying over the Ko’olau,
he sees a young girl pin a hibiscus
behind her left ear
as she descends the stairs.