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Southern Crossing

John Haxton


As I wake in this hut I find
the time between sleep and consciousness.
I clasp this place of comfort.
This place in time,
is mine alone, is mine to use.
This morning some muscle cramp and an ache mark
the end of one and the beginning of the other.
I think of you.
I know you will be
the newly-ironed sheets on my next bed,
the well-cooked lamb shanks of my next meal,
spices on the shelf in our pantry.
I know I am
stinking socks,
mud-covered boots,
glad to have finished the Southern Crossing.
I know you will be
the view high above a forest-covered valley,
a voice equal to the trill of the tui,
soft honeysuckle on my nose.
I know I am
brittle kindling for lighting fires,
wind that blows dust under doors,
sting of smoke that fills this hut.
I know you will be
gentle words in the dark of night,
the glass of water that quenches thirst,
the map by which I will have found my way home.
I know these things,
with the certainty of knowledge,
beyond desire.
I find them in the place between
sleep and consciousness.


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