Here, standing on the beach, is Dad.
Beach? It’s Riverton, rocks and gravel
from the tarmac to the grey sea’s edge.
Black and white. He holds an oblate stone
scoured out from the distant Alps
milled and rolled by frigid water.
He holds it poised for skimming. Out
it will arc, skip, skip, to fall
and sink for half a fathom.
I snapped him with my old Box Brownie. His eyes
look far beyond the frame I gave him.
Shadowed from the sun, impassive,
they are skipping over the years,
walking the waves to England.
“Stones” was published in my first poetry collection, Boat People (HeadworX, 2002).
It’s one of the poems I’m planning to read at the Ballroom Cafe, Newtown, Wellington, on this coming Sunday, the 17th – the session runs from 4-6pm. I’m going to read a mixture of oldies and newies. If you’re in the appropriate hemisphere, I hope you’ll be able to make it along!