When the house sold we opened a bottle
and drank to our success,
already planning how to spend our share.
We didn’t discuss the fruit trees Dad tended
or the roses Mum sprinkled throughout the beds,
for those of us left to weed around at our peril.
No more worries about the rotting window sills
Dad neglected while he was nursing Mum,
the dehydrated greenhouse he left behind.
We celebrated never again making the pointless drive
all the way up the Kāpiti Coast to keep an eye
on an empty house, an overgrown garden.
And Waikanae once more became just
a seaside resort, a retirement village,
a desolate town where our parents used to live.