Every evening, my father strolled
along the Ala Wai canal before dinner.
Once, during a visit, he leaned over
and whispered, I have a surprise.
Accompanied by the scent of pikake,
we walked along the Ala Wai
to a convenience store,
and sat down on a wooden bench
facing an ancient banyan tree
filled with hundreds of tiny island birds.
I began to talk, and he raised a finger to his lips:
The birds begin to sing right after 5:00.
Returning home from errands
on a rainy fall evening,
our arms loaded down
with grocery bags and backpacks,
my children and I pause
and listen to the sweetest bird song
coming from tightly woven holly bushes.
As they rush to the door
to get out of the rain, I linger
Heather Grant is a poet and elementary ESL teacher in Northern Virginia. She has contributed poems to various journals and anthologies, including Spillway, Blueline, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Sufi Journal, Main Street Rag, Loose Hair Press, and Word Works, Inc. and has self-published three chapbooks: Light to See by (with Alshaa Rayne and Patrice Wilson); Enfolded in Your Embrace; and Chasing the Shadow. Over the years, Heather has given poetry readings at the Canal Street Gallery in Washington, DC; Divergent Arts Poetry Series in Phoenix, AZ; Publication party of Light to See By in Honolulu, HI; and former Stacey’s Coffee House in Falls Church, VA.