an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #07
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Tarot #05
Tarot #04
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Tarot #02
Tarot #01

Twenty-Two Years

since I last heard your voice, or saw you
step off the plane at 76, quite an age to emigrate,
newspaper in hand as my mother pushed the trolley,
aware you weren’t quite the man you used to be
unaware of what you brought by merely being there
grasping your trusty cherry wood walking stick
shiny handled from all the years of grasping,
time enough to scrape a meeting with my son
who grew up not knowing what he missed,
yet still that great grey slab of time keeps stretching
getting no more distant for being more thinly stretched
week by year by decade, and now you’re doubling back
two countries ago, tea-towel slung over your shoulder,
pouring a glass of red and flipping potatoes in olive oil,
steadying the fry-pan with the wobbly black handle
as I slice garlic and onion, and tear off a chunk of bread,
jamming it between my lips as my mother taught me
to shore up the watering in my eyes.