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On trying to learn the reo at the Makara crossroads

Anahera Gildea


Any dormant hill takes a real climb
but this one is from inside you,
from the underside of you.


In order to make it ki te taumata
you find yourself becoming a goat –
your hooves a repetitive clacking, a
distant sound becomes quite fucking close.


You send all your voices out
that everything might charge the gate
scuffed and stoney with history
but it’s hard to slow that many
animals once they are ambular.


From the peak you see old people
winding and curving, marvelling
tourists of the past awaken
to the immensity of your cloven hoof,
crack open the rocks against this wound
and echo round the coast as you count the waka.


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