Fiction    Reading Room    Memoir    Interview

The Flying Lesson

As Dad is out of town
you take us to the Public Health Hui.
Awake in the meeting house
our exhalation is the inhalation
of another. In the half-light
you read me the plaited roof,
the myth of Rangi and Papa –
of his tears and her mist.
In the morning everyone argues.
The word smear is banned.
I sit near Raymond who has
dark skin and long hair.
My sister asks him Are you a girl?
while we play poi on the lawn.
When a seagull lands he hunkers down
and offers a torn sandwich,
as the orange beak lunges, we hoot–
helicopter pois up over our heads.


On the second day the hall pours
and cracks thunder. It draws from
the greased sky, the spotted marsh
and all the parts in between.
A woman, her face as smooth
as a piece of pounamu
says There can be no compromise.
Standing in your garden jeans and a T-shirt
that spells Ouray on the front in cats,
you tell them of your sister and mother
who both survived cancer.
I listen in the wings, soar around the marae.
Johanna Aitchison
Michele Amas
Angela Andrews
Sarah Barnett  
David Beach
Ken Bolton
Jenny Bornholdt
Rachel Bush
Mary Cresswell
Stephanie De Montalk
Cliff Fell
Tom Fitzsimons
Brian Flaherty
David Geary
Bernadette Hall
Kerry Hines
Andrew Johnston
Therese Lloyd
Iggy McGovern
Mary Macpherson
Dora Malech
Vana Manasiadis
Emma Neale
Gregory O'Brien
Lucy Orbell
Zach Savich
Charlotte Simmonds
Marty Smith
Elizabeth Smither
Abby Stewart
Robert Sullivan
Jo Thorpe
Cath Vidler
Louise Wallace
Ashleigh Young

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