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.