At Rangiora’s Ashley Street Cemetery
This graveyard’s a bit like the one
where we buried my mum and dad. Oldish,
a small town Anglican acreage … ours
used to seem huge. But after farms on the state
house outskirts got bulldozed and suburbs
blew round and past it and the dead
had fewer advocates than the living, it got cut.
Rows of empty plots were sold. Ownership
flats rub feet with wards of the undisturbed.
Once sited near the centre, my parents
lie hard against the hedge; retiree units
buffer the separate churches’ blocks.
But my mum would have loved the tree
thickening leafily above her, the moving seasons.
She wouldn’t mind the bird droppings
and twigs, nor the oldies pottering in handkerchief
sized backyards behind the fence. Other
burial grounds get dug up for motorways.
O Goddess, may all the parents’ graves,
as this poet’s – for whom we
companions make this pilgrimage – stay
at least as long as our coloured life-lines
keep weaving together
new and surprising waves …