Walk to the Estuary

Kuia bends in slack lagoon to show her moko

How to plunge elbow-deep for pipi.

Two black shags on bleached driftwood watch.


Godwits group to sew river’s hem of shot silk.

Two pied stilts shriek and dart, glare and stare. There!

Oystercatchers chug to and fro in pairs.


By myself. The rub of grit, squelch of grey silt,

Gleam and glug of sluggish river-bend water.

Deeper? I dare not cross.


Toes stuck in mud, ankles awash, I slouch,

Inelegant, inappropriate, immobile

As a beached, discarded couch.


A heron flies low and lazy, downbeat wings

Hanging like two beach towels –

Two wet beach towels, our bach verandah. Back then.


I bend and arm-plunge, collect chattering shells.

In my bag they will be convivial friends

And at the dinner table my quiet companions.



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