Poem – Nicola Slee

Return

There is an ocean I am always returning to
travelling halfway round the world
to come home to its long bay

I walk along the edges of surf
searching for greenstone and pāua shell
feel the grit under my feet

taste the tang of salt in my mouth
rinse my mind’s eye clean

I want to trudge as far as the tide will sing to me
slapping bare feet on sand in time with the sea’s fret and fray
walk out of my weariness and forgetfulness

stay as long as the waves come and go
til the moon rises and stars appear in the southern sky
the ocean gathering darkness, slipping me over its long white cloud

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