A WARTIME FAREWELL
The young sailor with his comrades in arms
lined the ship’s railing
on the commander’s orders.
Young soldiers and sailors
of white colonial stock
now crossed two oceans
to support their parents’ homeland
in their fight for freedom.
They left behind the islands
that had became their own home.
On the deck stood a taua,
a company of warriors of the
seafaring race who had settled
these islands centuries earlier.
They too were crossing two oceans
to fight alongside the colonial soldiers.
In ritual dance and chant
they farewelled their homeland.
They called on Tangaroa the sea
to protect and guide them
as he had their tupuna,
sailing the vast Pacific
seeking new homes.
Many of these warriors
of both races died and
were buried on foreign soil.
This young sailor survived the war,
married in his parents’ homeland.
He would only see his home islands
again at the end of his life.