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Monday, June 14, 2010

Pukapuka Poem #24 - 'After the Flood' Michael O'Leary

After the Flood
(Paekakariki, October, 2003)

You expect more protection in the ‘Month of Our Lady’
As the rains hit hard driving along Centennial Highway
The waters washed across the road, up to the car’s door
Threatening to sweep us out to sea through the gap
            In the sea wall

The car radio tells of our township under threat
And a plane is down further up the coast
‘Our Lady’ must be feeling terribly neglected
For the flood waters are rising further now
            As the cars crawl 

Darkness covers the drowned town
When we finally arrive around midnight
Taking in some stranded roadway refugees
My brother wades through waste-high water
Bringing back wine from the semi-submerged pub

The morning, no, the week after
Reveals the extent of the disaster
Out of the Phoenix of Flood
Rising from the filth and mud
The bird of Aroha and community
Gives us the feeling of unity
The people rally to help each other
Paekakariki becomes sister and brother

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