blackmail press 40
Helen Tionisio
first published issue 23

The fecund people - Andy Leleisi'uao 2014
Helen Tionisio-Fala is a creative writer of Tokelau and Samoa descent. Born and raised in Petone, Wellington she is currently living in Rockingham, Perth with her husband.
Aurora St

The younger boys went out fishing
With their Fathers and Uncle Lafaele
Returning from moana near the end of the day
With a catch to feed The Puikaiga:

From the sons of Great Grandfather Pahilio
To our father and his cousins
To their children (including me)
Even the friends of the Puikaiga

Aurora St is our family falepa

Uncle Lafaele’s house
Is at ga tai – near the water
His house is blue like the lagoon
Most of us had never seen a lagoon

We played in Daisy and Ake’s room
Or on the cute concrete front yard
So many of us we spilled out on to the road
Playing cricket
Having turns riding borrowed bikes
While our aunties and uncle
Played dominoes in the lounge
Their laughter would screech the walls
Our ears protected
Filled by our own stories
That Ene told us
And Lawrence told us
Then Caroline us

The little boys running across the Esplanade
Barefoot we follow after
To watch them come in
From the mouth of moana
Our dads jump out of the boat
Aluminium strong vaka
On Petone Foreshore
The older sons and their fathers
Heave it up to shore
In para rubber gumboots
And matching yellow raincoats

Bringing the boat in
Carrying the catch in
Uncle Lafaele directs them
To divide the catch
Amongst the Family
Into plastic shopping bags

Puikaiga has fish for tea tomorrow
And tonight we are all eating here
At Aurora St