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Sport 40: 2012

I have tried to write you

page 329

I have tried to write you

I have tried to write you
this story of the sky
but only as a treasure trove
or sigh into the stars
or a womb where a child still swims into the fires.
Does she know that we can see her moving
through the undertow
or in the slow heave of the breast
where she tries to latch on?
And this boy in braces, I remember you,
your hand on the suitcase—
you stand beneath the lines of pegged out washing
that never now will be dry.
And always the dissolve into power poles,
a crucifix where the transformer hangs
and the fire unfolds and flows
into flares and sparks.
It’s like this when we make electricity from water—
the villages are drowned,
for so many years the grateful bells would toll,
then they sounded the sirens for an hour
to say it was time to go.
And so the dizzy waters rose—
hey flowed into alleys and cellars,
chapels and shearing sheds,
into the bedrooms where our children were conceived
and the places where sunlight came late
through a crook in the hills.
All now were silent.
Soon the flax was gone,
though a ghost still digs in the gardens—
his spade became a waka paddle,
to ply the waters as they rose over the road.
And the turbines drove us home.