Vincent O'Sullivan

When, exactly?

It was a curious thing, in a Waikato paddock,
a day when wind seemed a story you had half-
forgotten, the puriri’s every twig as though carved
from jade, the late corn squadroned in the paddock
you stood in.
         In the 3 o’clock steaming silence
you could hear the minute rustling of jaws—‘Army
worm’ they were called, taking their luck, their
time, on the uncut crop. It was hearing yourself
age. It was here, surrounded by before and after,
yet moving, moving, at the pace of an insect set
against ten hectares. It was summer, 1968.

Author’s Note


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