Issue Thirty - Summer 2017

Mother’s Last Hula

By Michael Sato

On her deathbed paralyzed by a stroke she broke everyone’s heart
By doing a hula with the right hand she could still move. Her eyes
Closed, her mouth locked in what might have been a smile, her hand
Held for a moment the clouds that gathered over the Ko’olaus,
Then flowed with the streams that tumbled down to the sea.

“She’s doing hula,” someone shouted, and some around her burst out
Crying and remarked among themselves how amazing that was;
“She’s so strong,” someone said, and she raised her hand into a fist,
Squeezing it tightly before bringing her hand back down beside her.
“You’re going to do the hula when you get better,” someone said.

In the quiet of the early morning when she died, the sun rose over
The dark valley hills and was greeted by the familiar chorus of birds,
And if you needed strength to face the bleakness of loss in days to come
You were given the gift of her raised fist and if you sought the solace
Of beauty and grace in the floodwaters of death, you received
Her hand tracing the water’s fall and its path meandering to the sea.

Copyright Sato 2017