Before my Ancestors

2012 Grand Prize Category III
(Grades 3-6)

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
Teacher: Melvin E. Spencer III

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