Friday Poem

Sedition — a letter to the writer from Meri Mangakāhia

Here’s what I had in mind, kōtiro, this
clipping at words like overgrown maikuku —
return the blankets of domestic life; don’t fold
washing or wear shoes, polish these rerenga kē.
Eh. But this world.
I s’pose neither of us planned to be in politics,
never did do what others told us to —
wahanui though, go on, get
your sedition on girl,
your agitator, your defiant speak
to each other eye to eye —
Māori been jailed for nouns, phrases;
butcher up a clause, get buried
in Pākehā kupu, then dig that
out like the old people. No one approved
of their language either.
by Anahera Gildea
Source: Poetry (February 2018)