Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mum & Dick

You should write a poem about your mother. It doesn’t work that way – a command bid locks the system. But obedient I tried. Here is the result.

Saw-toothed the Kaikouras below
mark the ascent, soon the swaying
landing at Rongatai.

Moonlight on barbed wire
How does one say ‘good-bye’
‘Thanks’ sounds not heart-felt enough

They are together now
she handing him the wood
he, expertly guiding it to the blade.

the pile in the shed growing
fuel for meals to be cooked
& baths for his back to be lathered.

My last trip south to see Mum was in November 2007. In the spring vacation 1969 I visited her and my stepfather in their Christchurch home. He was dying of lung cancer. It would be the last time I saw him.

On the farm they worked in unison at sawing up the manuka wood for the wet-back stove. Dick would be stripped to the waist. Mum feared the saw. I think she thought if she were there it would keep him from harm. They were a great team.

No comments:

Post a Comment