by Kendrick Smithyman
Walk past those houses on a Sunday morning
where pianos stumble in front rooms,
mechanics freed from tools take shears
to clip their hedges, talking politics.
Or move along the lake, or down a track
prop against butts of logs and eye the mangroves,
flip pottery shards and chips as distant farms
grow up from fog to sun. Remember, here
pedantic summer rose to read the lesson.
Think, how threads were drawing close together:
detail a month, day, hour and an ungainly
kitbag lugged off home in the tram, two days later
put down in the hot Waikato close to the river -
bell tents, new straw, uniforms everywhere.
Leave was a chance to take your bike
crawling into the ranges, were places
not to be seen as before, and places to visit:
a house with oaks where one was quick
with sympathy, but did not understand.
Count them again, these things, the League ball
punted across the park, processional eighteen
footer sails, cold meat and salad at five.
Somewhere there's value to them. As a piano stumbles
something comes into being. It will take shape in the end.
Last updated January 14, 2019