Song for Apirana Taylor

An old Maori man
brought us his ancestors on his tongue
Spit them out for us
laid them down
told them with fluttering hands
and played them, their hollow ghosts
with instruments called from ancient wood
He wrought words for us
the songsmith, the kereru
The poetry of the pub
His history
our history hanging like threads on the notes
he said to me
Even when the poem stops don’t you stop
you don’t stop
when the poem stops.

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