In a sea beneath a sea without a name
where waters gathered to a clarity
that was also sorrow.
When my mother died, I stopped calling her mum and began to call her mama.
Wherefore the marram grass settled the land there also sprang the children who are as the sand in the sea, and houses on stilts as good as gone.
The teacher did not like the poem,
but seemed unable to say why, his face
seeping dismay or disgust.
The memory hits me like hunger: sudden pangs, gnawing edgewise. First it’s just a headline and the torn edge of a story.