Issue 26 | Fall 2020

My Daughter’s First Favorite Album Is Facing Future by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

She settles to his cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in seconds

nearly every single time, her wails pausing

as she recognizes the familiar strains of his ukulele.


She’s much too young to understand our connection to Hawaii,

the heritage we’re tied to by marriage

and the bonds of ohana,

a deep cultural knowledge

that family is thicker than mere blood.


The specifics of family labels don’t matter,

everyone aunty and uncle and cousin,

so I have a hard time translating

to my own German-American family

that J’s Aunty Nahe is technically

her daddy’s brother’s wife’s half sister—

all our other family relationships equally complicated,

but only if you insist upon it.


And for now I’m just grateful that somehow

she already seems to intuit she’s a part of this,

our ohana currents deep and deep and deep.

Filed under: Poetry

Elizabeth Dingmann Schneider lives and writes in Minneapolis. Her collection Blood is
available from Red Bird Chapbooks, where she formerly served as a poetry editor.
Elizabeth’s work has also been published in Sleet, the What Light Poetry Contest,
Commons Magazine, Mosaic, the Saint Paul Almanac, Streetlight Magazine, and
Motherscope Magazine.