The big farm girl with the dumb prophetic body
And shoulders plump and white as a skinned peach
Goes singing through the propped-up apple boughs.
Behind her steps an ancient Jersey cow
With bones like tent-poles and udder swinging.
And last a hairy boy who with a fishing-pole
Drives youth and age before him, flanked by boulders
More yielding than his love. O bitter harvest
When drought affirms and plenitude denies!
Well, let them pass. Assuredly the boy
Will drop his worm into a dusty hole
And fish up … death, and the ancient cow
On which so much depends will clear the moon.
By Alistair Te Ariki Campbell