The leaves are crisp and brown
no different than the outstretched
maple hands of what we now call
The Old Country, The Mainland, not
Burning, plumeria smells the same
as oak, but doesn’t sting like cedar,
and the grounded flowers are not
airport-lei fresh, but pruned as
This close to the equator the days
are halved, sunrise and sunset
at six and six, no leaping forward
no falling back, a cut or pasted hour
either way makes no difference
But the trades have come, fifteen
twenty MPH. The vertical blinds
clap in their frames until we
ribbon-tie them at their middles,
an approximation of double fans.
We freeze the chocolate the night
before, light a candle in
the pumpkin hand-picked
at a repurposed pineapple field.
Costumed children beg in darkness
Yesterday, on the North Shore
a lifeguard was crowned
no king, no prince, by a ripe
coconut. On the Big Island ,
Pele pushed aside tin houses
and crossed the road.
The light’s aslant at ten and two,
at eight and four. Even here,
there are seasons: time to raze
the cane fields, to plant or harvest.
We’ll spend Christmas Windward
where the water is warmer,
lay our rice mats down
in Ewa in the spring.
In summer at Waimea, we
will watch our toes wiggle through
glass-clear water, the sun, a dial,
two hands straight-up, noon-
bright all day
Tiff Holland is the author of the novella-in-flash “Betty Superman.” Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Mississippi Review, Frigg, Karamu and many other journals.