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Bernadette Hall


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POEM IN THE MATUKITUKI VALLEY


I know some things
like you’d rather have seen a rotary
clothesline in my garden than roses

and when I dedicated my book of poems
to you, you hammed it up, mock horror,
with ‘Jesus, what next!’

So coming down from the mountains
when Rae asked me what you would have thought
of it all, the grandeur, the excess,

the jade water, the yellow starred flats,
the black peaks with snow like orca leaping,
I had to say that I didn’t have a clue,

perhaps something like what a fuss about nothing!

and now at night, as the comet works its way
across the greybright sky, I see no sign
that you like Caesar have become a god,

you are far too reliable to be a god,

but rather the gauzy face of a woman,
hair streaming, running with a baby in her arms,
saving me again and again from the burning house.  


From Still Talking, Wellington: Victoria UP, 1997
Bernadette Hall
 


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Last updated 25 March, 2005