Home from Hospital
Your cot had given you up as dead,
your shoes and little dresses
had given you up as dead, Mary —
two-year-old dancing Mary.
Your dolls and teddy bears
huddled in tears on the shelf,
already in mourning. Even I,
on hearing the words ‘run over’,
betrayed you by thinking you dead.
But the tea tree lashed to the cliff,
the seagulls balancing the winds,
horizons of joy under their elbows,
never gave up. Even the hedgehogs
under the very wheels of cars never
gave up … Mary, your dolls and bears
are dancing, we are all dancing,
the house is again full of light,
because you have come home.
By Alistair Te Ariki Campbell