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Rue Grehan, Akaroa

Dear Ramarihi,
for twenty-nine years you
pushed against cloud: finally
blue fills your eyes with even more

emptiness. I see today from a long way
away. The wave
breaks its back
on the rock I cannot

reach: there you are
my reckless one, figuring
out the horizon
you will navigate beyond

tomorrow. No, you are not there. I guess
it’s true. I interpret
the air with my breath, licking
the syllables of your nickname

in with this spindrift. Mending nets
so the brilliant fish won’t slip
through the mesh I make
sense from absence.

Hauling our broken boat over
the causeway I almost see
you: we
imagine one another’s laughter

lifting with the buoys.

27.8.1992, Rose Cottage, Akaroa


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