Syracuse, NY 13210
Volume 9, 2009
One calls it the territory no one wants to enter;
another the roller coaster no one wants to ride;
you the membership no one wants to hold
in the society no one wants to join.
No one? I’m one.
Not to be exiled from you,
not to travel apart, not to be relegated
to a company not yours—for this I would enlist
in the fellowship of the unwilling,
ride its unsteady transport over hostile terrain
wherever it goes.
Of course it’s irrational,
foolhardy. But this isn’t my head talking
or even my heart hoping. I only know
when they scoped up my inside, when they
carved on my outside looking for telltale signs
and reported, we found nothing; my head answered,
good; my heart replied fine; but something in me
took the news badly, hearing: passport denied;
ticket refused; this club is closed to your kind.
Dearest explorer, rider, member perforce,
I can try to explain:
Kokua means helper.
But in a far away place, in a long ago time,
it meant so much more. And something in me
says, I would go kokua for you, journey with you,
ride waves with you up and down to Kalaupapa.
* An error in transmission caused incorrect spacing in the hard print edition of this poem. This is the correct version. We regret the error.
The Healing Muse Editors