Lisa Cochrane – (Year 13, Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland)

Ray

I paused when I heard,
via long distance call,
that you had moved from my world
to another,
secretly glad that I could have my mother back
to make cut lunches.

I said goodbye later that night,
hurried into and then out of a room
where children should be neither seen nor heard,
too scared to ask questions,
a few minutes to make my peace.

Nine daffodil heads opened that week
– one for each of your girls.
We cut them;
the symbol of your battle.
We carried them that day
till they were droopy and worn
when we left them with you.

Three years ago
you slipped out of my life.
At the time I was secretly glad,
confused only
that my mother
put Salt Shakers into your coffin
for 'later on'.