Michele Leggott


the magpies come to the corner of the house
and talk all morning to the figure on the flag that hangs
on the orange wall     my fingers trace the sewn words
COME WIRELESS     a voice fills in the rest and flashes
from my good right eye     ALALU     give back the black and white
but it’s the orange I want     morning sunlight on the wall
the birds and their qwardle     the bells in the painting
of KARANGAHAPE ROAD in a shed on the side of the hill

nothing more joyous than a dog in water     except two dogs
paddling along beside us in the waist-deep water     so clear
the estuary at full tide     feet sinking through sandy crusts
WHOA     the dogs turn back and we drift with the current     WHOA
to where waves are coming over the bar     WH-OA     soft landing
against the side of a sand bank     as in the dream one moment
out of my depth one moment a toe on the bottom     I open my eyes
underwater     so clear     everything as it should be     kicking along

post MERIDIAN the wall of sound is cicadas     the shade sail
flaps one manta wing on the hot concrete and I’m off     barefoot
to find the London planes whose whitewashed trunks
will lead me     step by step     out to the point     an ALLÉE
a path to walk ALONE     counting and listening     marking off
each tree there and back     the dog running free with her nose in
RABBITS     sharp gravel springy kikuyu     ALONE and seeing
the same pathway in moonlight under the morepork’s loony call

Author’s Note


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