Maui, 1997 by Grace Welch

Edges are chipped now; the plastic dusty, scratched.
A cheap K-mart trinket sold to haoles. But the sand
is real (I presume) and the painted symbols around
“Maui 1997” hip and hawaiin. I remember that sand –
soft and brown and warm. Like your sun-kissed skin.
In the photo clutched between the plastic sheets
I grasp your tanned shoulders like a playful lover.
You and I eternally radiant in the Pacific water.
You and I off-center – witness to our perfect isolation.
We went half way round the world to discover
How perfect we were. How without 60 hour
work weeks and Costco and renovations
We were picture-perfect in our happiness.

Well I recall what happened after the camera.
Hand in hand we walked back to the car. You
Opened the door. We drove, hand on thigh
Down the long winding drive where you
Stopped to pick hibiscus and place one with a kiss
in my hair. We ran laughing past maids
and trollies — back to our king size bed.
I know it all these fifteen long years for
It is what we did every day that precious week.

Just like I know the secret we share
That this photo was taken on Kuaii
That there was no time or inclination
to shop for trinkets on the lover’s spell
that was our first renewing week in Hawaii.

GEWelch2 Grace E. Welch, received an honors degree in rhetoric and professional writing from the University of Waterloo in 1992. A Canadian, she lives in Bermuda, with her husband and 2 children. Her poems have been published in The New Quarterly, The Feathertale Review, various on-line journals and in the 2006 and 2011 Bermuda Anthologies of Poetry. Her poem, “Return of the Turtle” won first place and “best in show” in the 2006 David Raine Memorial (BAMZ) Poetry Competition.

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