At the camp for people with cognitive disabilities,
he was the man who said Hawaii.
The first morning as I ran the electric shaver
around his chin he murmured the word
then all week long repeated –
meanings varied by context and tone.
Do you want popcorn? Hawaii, reaching for the bowl.
Do you want to swim? Hawaii, turning from the lake.
On the hayride, climbing aboard, settling in,
whispered into the cup of his hand.
All that week I thought of palm trees and surf
and now when I hear the word Hawaii, I picture him
laughing at the weekly dance, jabbing his finger in sync
with the beat, casting Hawaii in every direction.
Micki Blenkush is the author of Now We Will Speak in Flowers published by Blue Light Press. Her writing has appeared in numerous journals including: CALYX, Cagibi, Grist, and Crab Creek Review. She lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota and works as a social worker. mickiblenkush.com
See more of her work in 3.1 and 4.3 and 5.2 and 6.1 and 6.3 and 7.2 and 9.1 and 9.1 and 9.1 and 9.1