Anne Hollier Ruddy

Aotearoa / New Zealand
My Last Supper

Food—one of my delights
so when it’s time for that final feast
here’s my menu: First pipis
freshly dug out of sand at low tide
and boiled like Mum used to do
though pākehā Dad wrinkled his nose.

Then pork, preferably a whole pig
roasted on a spit so I could
share with our ʻaiga, if
we still have one after all those
years of passing as white,
marooned in our gentility.

Mum used to fry cooked taro—
I can still taste its crispness
but palusami was a treat only
experienced if we went to a cousin’s
celebration. Our neighbours grew the
black leaves for drama in their gardens.

Dessert would be fruit paradisial—
pawpaw especially the red kind,
mangoes and pineapple would be my
special choice. Their sweetness would
heal the sadness of a kai viti who went
away and called another place her home.

detail of Diasporic Waters - Joy Enomoto - 2014
Baninnur: A Basket of Food

Anne Hollier Ruddy was born in Fiji. When she was four years old, her parents took her to New Zealand. She has lived in the United Kingdom and Australia (where she started writing poetry) and has now returned to New Zealand. Her poetry, along with some tanka and haiku, has been published in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.