“You can never go back,”
someone famous once said
and it’s true.
Wading out from the paddy field, I swim around
to view this piece of the past from the water.
But it has changed. Its name, its appearance.
Fifteen years on
and there is more, more of everything
but less of spirit.
Our memories stay frozen while the world
I climb the steep stairs from the lake.
An old woman sits under a Carlsberg umbrella.
I feel foolish, but I have to know.
“Was this once called Christa’s?”
She cackles delightedly through her
and in broken English I think she is
trying to tell me she is Christa.
I walk down the hill
past a stream of local “hello” purveyors,
but they blur behind
the gallery of faces mood-lit in my mind,
people who once meant so much
lost now in time and distance.
You can never go back.
You can only lift the lid of history.
The poet wishes to acknowledge Micropress NZ (sadly ceased publication) in whose pages this poem first appeared.