Beneath The Sky This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The sunlight trickles through the muted waters
surrounding my ears.
The wind passes gently above my head, faltering
as it trips over the tiny island of my ponytail.
I am seven. I am small.

The ramshackle reef is an unhappy gray
dimpled with the blue, green, yellow,
silver flashes of lau-wiliwili, ‘awela,
kikakapu, nunu, manini, lau‘ipala.

My dad stays close
like a great blue whale by my side.
Dad is old. He is big.
He keeps me safe from all sharks, morays,
and the endless blue
that leers at me from his opposite side.
Dad’s hand holds fast to mine
like an opihi during a swell. He knows I’m scared
when we go outside the reef
to where I can look out into the azure of sea.

As we drift away and toward the slow-growing corals
where the water laps and sways,
the sun is a penny
that warms the pocket of sky
and glistens on the ancient shell of honu who rises before us
to make my daddy proud
that he taught me how to snorkel.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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