just like it ever was
she woke up from her nap,
rosy-cheeked and sweet
Mama, I go toy store
& trade faffy for sea turtle now?
So, dressed we got
somehow found a parking spot
so many tourists these days, you know
we tried out a squid, shaggy lion, leggy chicken
but it was the sea turtle she’d dreamed about that won her heart
& just like it ever was
she walked right up to the counter
placed six well-sucked faffys on tiptoes
waved good-bye, hugged her new sea turtle
and walked out the door.
I paid, of course
while sisters celebrated her on sidewalk
the ferry whistle blew
as the sun sunk below the town’s tall building:
the whale museum.
and when it was bedtime
we snuggled extra-extra long,
read so many sea turtle books
sang Ba Ba Black Sheep
until she changed the words
Ba Ba Sea Turtle
and at tuck in’s last corner
she said in the softest voice
but what about allllllll my faffy’s?
I really love them
and the sweetest, saddest frown came across those puffy lips
I know, sweetheart, I said.
We’re going to be ok.
I wiped her tears, my tears;
it’s hard to watch them grow
right. before. my. eyes, you know.
she squeezed that turtle
the whole while it took me to walk downstairs
and I wouldn’t be surprised if she stays that way
and all she teaches me about waiting and timing and trusting.
as a school board member
there’s some perks:
a fancy pen, bottomless coffee that comes with hours-long meetings
& the handing out of scholarships at graduation
to watch tassels turn from right to left
to stand witness to moments like this
like a birth, a wedding.
witness to the exact moment of change in phase
where there’s always joy
it’s always an honor.
Luke spent the weekend getting
three little birds ready for the sea
when at an evening hour
beside dock, kelp
low tide won,
our promise to have her in slip’s tied-up view
there’s always tomorrow
but our three little girls find it hard to wait.
it’s going to be
some kind of special
spending father’s day aboard.
their favorite dance has always been hula,
unlike mama with near-decades in tap, ballet en pointe.
traditional song and the making of leis
dance as story, movement of purpose and meaning
held sisters happy for hours,
had sisters in pretend Hawaiian beaches, hula concerts
all. weekend. long.
Aloha Oli OliAkahai, e na Hawai’iLokahi a ku like‘Olu ‘Olu ka mama’oHa’a ha’a kou kulanaAhonui a lanakila