Before my Ancestors
If you are a sweet ‘apapane,
I am the divine lehua that nourishes you.
If you are the delicate ‘alae ke’oke’o,
I am the gentle pond that you enchant with your call.
If you are a lonely nene,
I am the ‘one ohelo berry bush you feed upon.
If you are a brown lysan duck,
I am the air that lets you fly freely to your mate.
If you are a cold ‘a’o,
I am the sun that warms your keiki.
If you are a light brown koloa,
I am the pond that you swim in with your brood.
If you are white ‘io,
I am the brown feathers that take you to maturity.
Now this is a poem of Hawaiian birds
that were here before my ancestors were born.
(Pi’ikea Lopes, age 12; Honolulu, Hawaii)