eight thousand left home
last year, a brain drain,
but I came back,
I always come back.
eight thousand left home,
a place of birth, a place of life,
left family, and culture, and ancestry behind,
left ocean and land,
left spirits and stories,
fruit, fish, poi,
the dizzying mountains, sand.
because they can’t afford to live
where they belong,
because three generations in one house
is too crowded, and so they left
it all behind, to places like
Colorado, and Utah, and Nevada,
A tectonic shift, bones of the earth
cracking, moving across time zones
Pacific time to Mountain time.
And for every person who moves away to make a living,
Someone with money fills in the space
and puts up fences, and gated communities.

Don’t stay gone too long
because you know about Pangaea,
Atlantis, and Hawaiki,
lands once thrived,
Now only a mystic memory.