Friday, January 8, 2016
Te Whiti and Tohu - Elizabeth Smither
On the last morning of his life
Te Whiti fed corn to his pigeons.
Tohu was buried on top of his coffin
smashed in a dozen pieces.
Tohu had his left hand middle finger
shot away by a bullet. Te Whiti’s
right hand middle finger was torn off
by a millstone. They married sisters.
At Tohu’s death a canoe-shaped cloud
with a figure lingered for three days.
Te Whiti spoke of ko manawanui: forbearance
the canoe by which we are to be saved.
Sharpe, I. (Ed.). (2001, January 1). Best New Zealand Poems 2001. Retrieved from http://www.victoria.ac.nz/modernletters/bnzp/2001/home.html