Monday, December 23, 2013

Poem: "Coming Home" by J.C. Sturm

The bones of my tupuna*
Safe in secret places up north
Must wait a little longer
Before they claim me for good. 
                            The love of my second parents
                            Unconditional from the beginning
                            Unrelenting to the end
                            Never quite made me theirs. 

That tormented paradoxical man
Father of my children
Convinced me we belonged together
But then moved on. 
                            The young ones (our young) he left behind
                            Claimed my castle as their own
                            Being themselves a part of me
                            Always, bone of my bone. 

Years earlier, a much younger self
Lay face down in hot dry sand --
                            Salt on her skin, the smell
                            Of green flax pungent in the heat, 
                            Summer a korowai
                            Around bare shoulders --
And felt in her bones
Without knowing why
She belonged to that place. 

Nearly a life-time later
On another beach --
                                                                 the sea
                            A blinking shield at our feet,
                            Behind us a dark hill fortress
                            With sentinel sea birds
                            Circling and calling --
I lay down beside you in tussock
And felt without warning
I had come home. 

     -- J. C. Sturm

*tupuna - Maori for ancestor or ancestors

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