Journal » Trout 15 » 2007 Pacific Island Polynesian Scholarship Award Ceremony [Mariana Isara]
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2007 Pacific Island Polynesian Scholarship Award Ceremony

Mariana Isara

Before the ceremony

My sister says
Do you think I will have to give
a speech?
I say.
What should I say?
Thank everyone.
Mum, dad, and our ancestors?
It’s not the Oscars.

You could say, Tom says:
The years of oppression
are finally starting to pay off!

At the ceremony


She introduces Tom
as her flatmate.

He is miffed at being
the random who came
for the food.

We look out the window.

12.11 My sister
is sponsored by gas

Tom says How appropriate.

12.15 My sister receives
the Pacific Islands Polynesian Scholarship
she is the first arts student to get it.
I clap as loud
as is humanly possible.

12.16 The Professor says
this may be the start of a long career with ____ Gas
and ignites a flicker of laughter inside us

12.17 we keep our mouths shut
the laughter warms
the backs of our teeth.

12. 20 They take a picture
of my sister and the guy
whose name is almost
the same as our father’s.
They are wedged either side
of the red-faced gas man.
My sister’s cheeks are too tight.
Tom licks at his teeth
to pretend that she’s got food
stuck in them.
Look at me
growls the photographer.

12.22 There’s vegetarian food!

12.27 To my sister: What are you planning
to do, after. your degree?

12.35 The Head of Department says
I’ve been to the islands
full of beautiful people
who love each other
and the world.

My sister smiles

Look over there says Tom
and steals my slice of pineapple.

12.40 We eat cake

12.45 You won! Says the Professor
and flops down beside my sister
like she has been running
a long time behind her
and has just finally caught up.


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