Glass Poetry Press

Volume Two Issue Two

Kirsten Hemmy

Dear Now

"The king of Hawaii has returned to his throne, and the state of Hawai'i is under a state of arrest by a federal marshal to ensure the interests of the USA." — Kingdom of Hawai'i, Nation, official statement on the occasion of the takeover of 'Iolani Palace, August 2008. Yesterday, I held my head high when you formed your secret society of sugar cane planters & missionaries & discussed our overthrow/assassination. I cleaned up the ammunition & the fractured ocean, jagged island after your slash & burn plantations then military target practice leveled the little we had left, killing us, slowly. I watched as hotels & tourists splattered more land than even our native beauties — 'imua, lehua, pikake, silversword. One night, I saw the shadow of the past, as real as the horse it rides. I climbed the volcano of the ancestors — long dead but still in pain — to gather orchids & ferns so green they seem unreal. Today, imua. Tomorrow, I will rush the palace gates, letting my people in & locking the doors, a gesture you can't possibly ignore.