One of my favourite things about a recent trip to our hometown was walking routes I used to pace while pregnant with our first child and then, pushing prams for fresh air. Nostalgic? A bit.

Anyway, seeing our old house undergoing a major renovation made an impact.

Probably best not to give up my day job anytime soon. Waffling. Here goes.



Paved pathways, leading nowhere

meander through low maintenance pebble gardens,

sprout alien-like succulents

of pernickety pensioners’ townhouses in Awamoa.


Broken plastic ride on toys, once loved now abandoned

lie strewn on functional front sections

alongside ripped trampolines and surplus junk mail

of North End state houses.


Terracotta Burrelli pots, painstakingly manicured topiaries,

repressed box hedging and tamed native grasses

frame front doors and line the paths

of mortgaged-to-the-hilt, (so) here-for-the-long-run

Redcastle subdivisions.


Flags fly proudly from balconies, surveying million-dollar views

up the coast and over limestone buildings

testimony to the town’s prosperous past

of comfortable South Hill homes.


Sturdy wrought iron fences donning fancy fretwork

border the frontages of historic homesteads

recently restored by descendants of canny Scots and entrepreneurial English

at central Oamaru residences.


The Reno

On Friday, a lavishly large, freestanding bath

Waited regally, biding its time in the carport

Of our old house.


On Saturday, the cedar-clad, black bifold window,

view embracing extension

loomed over me as I paced the streets below,

craning my neck to imagine.


On Sunday, the cholate brown kitchen bench lay upside down

in the front garden where the cherry blossom once fluourished

by the front gate.

I concur.


On Monday, I spied you through the front window

huddled over a laptop,

crunching numbers for the reno

in my old office as tradies’ vans lined the street.

Budget blues.


I hope you left the kids’ playhouse.

Is our wedding tree thriving?

And do the trees planted for the boys’ naming days

exist, nurtured by placenta and fertilised with love?


Would we, could we, have achieved this transformation?

Could I, should I, ask for my windchimes

left, accidentally by the back stairs, when we moved on?


On Tuesday, we drive home,

wishing you well.




Do you remember?

Flying down the hill on your black motorbike,

little legs striding,

beanie pulled firmly over your ears to protect them from the wind,

bright blue gumboots pounding the pavement.


My heart beats wildly.

“Slow down!” I yell

You turn around.

Impish grin, baby teeth

and skidder to a halt.


Take the short cut through well-tended gardens,

Zoom over the ramp past the District Council’s imposing entrance

accidently triggering the automatic doors.

Heads turn inside

but you’re already gone.


I’m jogging behind,

you’re too far ahead.

The library doors glide calmly open –

they’ve seen it all before.


The little black motorbike is parked inside,

just like I showed you to.

Nobody shushes you.


You are 3.

You are invincible.


Do you remember?


Batman and black motorbike









One thought on “Home

Add yours

  1. I enjoyed these so much. The first one shows me that very different urban neighborhoods exist where you are too. The second reminds me of the people who bought our home immediately refinishing the floors, scratches from us over the years disappearing, The third reminds me of still turning when a little one calls out “Mommy” in a store, with mine in their 40’s.


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