Singing us home

In a kitchen
three of us sit sharing tea
and talking about
how hard we find it
to feel really here,
to feel we belong.

Each of us an
unplanned baby.
(An accident, or a surprise if you’re being nice.)

Never felt that sense of
unequivocal right-to-be,
to take up space.

Margaret (from Aotearoa)
says in Maori culture
a child is sung in,
called into being by her family.

We sit in silence
pondering this.

She pours more tea and
tells us about her grandmother
saying one day in exasperation
‘You will never feel at home until you understand this –

‘My home is where I stand.’

A soft breeze enters and lifts the
hairs on my arms.

Suddenly the room
is filled with the most beautiful singing
like whale sounds

as Margaret sings us in.

We sit there
tears streaming down our faces
and come home.

Beth Spencer

Beth Spencer has a new verse memoir, Vagabondage, published by UWA Press. Previous books are Things in a Glass Box (poetry) and How to Conceive of a Girl (fiction). A bilingual selected poems, called The Party of Life, will be published in 2015 by ASM/Flying Islands.

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