A Portal in Paia

Paia door

My daughter, be patient while I remember
for I have seen this door before
and my memory is but sporadic happenstance
a forgotten love letter tucked among my photos
on paper creased by old promises
that only time can caress

It might be the door of our tiny plantation cottage
where my sister Minnie and I jumped rope in red dirt
that we washed off in the kitchen sink before Mama braided our hair
and put us to bed next to our baby brothers
near the wood stove still warm from dinner

It might be the door that brought Papa into his nightly haven
from the ubiquitous cane that sweetened the tea of the luna’s wife
in a tropical parlor that overlooks a landscape checkerboard
of fire-blackened squares and green patches of seedlings
tended by sun-ripened men paid a dollar a day

My daughter, take me away from here
The vestige crusts of paint are the color of fading bruises
cowering behind doors of iniquity and shame
and if such a beast does exist in past reincarnations
then I prefer to misplace the key that unlocks that door

* A luna is a foreman in a Hawaii plantation.

10 thoughts on “A Portal in Paia

  1. You left this stranger quite a beautiful gift on this page. It made me think of how truly kind and generous poetry really is to all.

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