by Kenny Kong
"Come here, I want to show you something"
He says with a grin and a glint in his eye.
He's always showing us something outrageous.
Blow dart guns from a jungle in New Guinea,
A perfectly preserved giant centipede in a pickle jar,
Elaborate magic tricks using fishing line and a deck of cards.
He rummages through his shop on the side of the house,
Dancing figures carved from Koa wood and
Hawaiian warriors with real feathered helmets,
Gently, he pulls out a Ukulele,
unlike any I've seen before.
It's slightly bigger than most,
and has two sound holes instead of one.
The stained mahogany has a lustre that
makes me want to touch it, caress it.
As he handles it gingerly
with wrinkled, knobby fingers
I notice the inlaid patterns,
the expert craftsmanship,
and I know immediately that he made it himself.
No other like it in the entire world.
And as he strums it softly
the sound fills my body
and I taste sweet hibiscus
and dripping mangoes
and salted tears
on the tip of my tongue.