on our life changing flight.
What was to happen? Where would
we go? What would we do?
Then it happened.
With Eagle eyes we saw
strong, white topped peaks
like the backbone of some native
God. In awe we behold its fragile
frame. Humble. I have never seen
A friendly face appears
behind the car hire counter.
Map in hand, the smile corrects our childish
mistake. "That is O as in orange and not
as in Uma. Oamaru, three hours drive
south of Christchurch."
Embarrassed, we smile back.
Parched fields hug the wide coast road,
where lush green hedgerows are replaced
by eucalyptus trees, which
seem to kiss the sky above. The sky.
It’s not cloudy, grey. It’s not raining.
The sun shines like it’s going to burn out
in the blue haze. It’s other worldly.
Everything is so different. So foreign.
But we are the aliens, not they.
Children giggle on the back seat
as we pass where they live. Are the words
real? How do we say that one? Ashburton,
Geraldine. Australian? No.
Temuka, Timaru, Waimate
where the kangaroos are. Sounds
Signpost, Oamaru. We’ve arrived.
On the fringe
we are greeted by death,
industrial, and that smell! Why
did we come here? I started to panic.
What had we done?
The metal towers
of that abattoir gave way to urban housing.
Strange wooden sheds with tin roofs;
immaculate lawns, flowerbeds and trees. Everything
clean, green - nature’s dream.
Unfamiliar. Now our home.