Introduced Species


Siobhan Harvey


Here, at the lip of the peninsula,
macrocarpas guard the beach,
kuta grass grows alone,
rosellas are kids heard, never seen
and words, beating invisible wings, hover
over the emptiness of paper
that rustles occasionally like wind
through a forest or across wild land.

Lost children, memories of tipuna
treasured by tangata whenua and ghost
of matriarch rocking in kitchen’s blue chair
befriend this barren day, while I breathe in
the silence and wait for the breaking
of feet upon fallen branches, laughter and song.

When they come, I open doors and windows,
allow the dead out to play and hear
the house hum with sudden harmony.
Then the white paper and I sit expectantly,
knowing words will appear.
Even when the dead return
and the house locks its windows and doors,
the sound of children singing is more
than enough to lay down the lines of this poem.