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. Her poetry and short fiction are published or forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Califragile, Pacifica Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, Eunoia Review, Silver Birch Press, Seattle Poetry Bus, and other places. She's been nominated for Best of the Net (These Mountains Will Break Your Heart, If You Let Them), and the Pushcart Prize (Surly Modern Birds).Right Hand Pointing published her chapbook, "Last Note" in 2019.