All around are the things he’s built.
The clean edge in the grass; the two-tiered
chicken-coop where mom’s darlings live;
the shelves that keep the hurricane water
cubed, stacked and dated. Keep
the memory of Iniki and the solutions to Iniki
within reach. Our whole house
has known his touch. Touch
of the water hose
that gardener’s, that cab driver’s,
that union man
and cane worker’s lasso. Our dads
built our homes in the night
since they built other men’s homes
by day. As it is told,
whatever stones did not make it
to the fishpond wall
the Menehune men
and left there,
an unstacked cairn.
Kalani (they/she) is a Filipino-American and Kama’aina poet from Mililani, Hawai’i. Kalani is a Whitworth alumn of English (B.A.) and Theology (M.A.). Currently, Kalani tends home in Missoula, Montana — an MFA candidate, writing mentor, night baker and river rat. Kalani was the 2022 Hugo Fellow at the University of Montana, and the recipient of the 2022 Madeline DeFrees Prize for poetry. Their work appears and is forthcoming with Bamboo Ridge Press, and the Academy of American Poets.