I booked a flight months ago
The first time in a long time I've been on time
The sun is shining on the wing
The plains will be flooded with light
bees flying in formation past
I will drink red wine and laugh
Trade old jokes with good friends
I haven't seen in some time
try to ignore the twisted buildings in the background
the bulldozers and the cranes
Tomorrow it's back to the humdrum
and the quiet realisation that you're
not coming back
But today, planes and bees and I
are flying to Christchurch, for you
something childish but completely natural
It’s been some time
There were tentative steps in the summer months,
tentacle steps, you would say.
More and more of my thoughts drift over oceans to you,
tendrils of jellied jokes and salted sayings we invented.
The tree house we created is still there
sitting crookedly on leaning stilts,
an old mai-mai in a mangrove swamp.
The treasure hunt hastily completed
with the photos of us around the city, laughing at fruit
and old man trousers.
I kept them for years,
leagues and fathoms of time.
My hair wasn’t grey and you weren’t so thin
but we’ve neither of us matured.
Your grin is still the same.
So smile, old friend.
It’s good to see you again
NB: Title taken from short story by Katherine Mansfield, ‘Something Childish But Completely Natural’