12. Watching The Hula

Race has been a thing for me.
Ethnicity has been a thing.
The ignorant haole in Hawai`i
has been a thing for me.

I’ve held captive
a deep hatred for those
haole, those foreign,
those who came to destroy
to take and to claim
what never belonged to them.

But seeing the Merrie Monarch competition
watching the hula–
I was very mistaken.
Hula knows no race, no age,
and holds no detest in her heart.
Hula only promotes
aloha and gratitude,
beauty and grace.

The dancers exude passion
in the stories they tell–
each kāholo extending their love
of the Hawaiian culture,
each ʻuwehe implanting the images
of the lovely ʻāina,
and each ʻami captivating the audience
with excitement and wonder.

Hula unifies all those
native and foreign.
Hula is aloha.
Hula is love.

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