My son was up all night filming a cooking show in my kitchen.
In the morning he was sitting in my seat
with his laptop open, editing.
On the bench, all the cooking equipment we own, very used,
and on the table, tomato paste, flour, sugar, yeast,
and bits of greenery I cannot identify
without watching the show
which of course is not yet released.
On the sofa, his friend sleeps with his feet
up in the air, one leg crossed over the other, and his face
positioned as if he fell asleep looking
straight up at the ceiling,
possibly talking, probably listening.
I am pleased to think of such industry
in our kitchen late at night.
I make my breakfast silently
so as not to disturb my son editing
or his friend sleeping, thinking
of the lecture I wish I didn’t have to give.
There is the new fringe that frames the face –
that will help, but only marginally.
A torch would be ideal, the auditorium
one enormous blanket, if everyone’s eyes
would only be on the other side of the ceiling,
not dazzled and annoyed by the glare.
In an early collection of mine there is a poem “Easter at Te Henga” in which the parents sit at a table, the children jump off the rocks. The children were Paula and Michael’s, and mine and Simon’s, and they have been jumping off higher and higher rocks ever since. Through all the terror and trauma, there has been the solace of my friendship with Paula, the poetry she has written, the meals she has cooked, the conversations we have had. “Translations” of this poem have appeared in Sport, but this is the original, dedicated to Paula.