My father remembers ancient banyan trees.
He sees ghosts in the tall temple grass,
smells rain on abandoned sugar cane.
He watches the ocean and waits.

Lately, he sees a tall ship in Honolulu Harbor,
silent and crewless,
and my father thinks
it is there for him.

Listen, I tell him, that ship is only in your mind,
but he counters, “You see it, too”
and it’s true, I see it,
pale and shifting like Molokai sand.

My father remembers battleships in flames,
torpedoes flying over Ko’olau mountains.
He remembers a young girl pinning hibiscus
behind her left ear as she descends the stairs.

Selected byLawrence George
Image credit:Recca

Trish Saunders lives in Seattle and Honolulu and, in her imagination, near Crater Lake, Oregon. Her poetry appears in The American Journal of Poetry, Califragile, Pacifica Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, Eunoia Review, Silver Birch Press, Seattle Poetry Bus, and other places. Right Hand Pointing published her chapbook, "Last Note" in 2019.