A poem for Blair.

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I wrote this poem for Roz Palethorpe. It is called Keystone.

 

The phlebotomist wanted to know

what I was going to do with the rest of the day.

I said I was going to write about pigeons

 

Not the Wellington ones

which always made me feel

starkly urban, or melancholic

 

But the white-breasted parabolic diver

heavy-winged half-eater

equal opportunity parent

 

Frugivorous whiplash

Hemiphaga Novaeseelandiae

Kererū

 

The phlebotomist wanted to know why pigeons

so I told him about you

and the letter to the editor

 

and Katherine,

who I imagine missed them.

Not a lot of wood pigeons in Paris.

 

My girlfriend grew up in a place called Pigeon Valley

Some Māori say they represent the presence of feminine beauty

which I tell her so I can watch her blush

 

I tell the phlebotomist that the wood pigeon

is a keystone species

because no one else does what they do

 

Imagine that, I say

as he draws my name on the labelled vials

and frees my arm

 

Imagine being that significant,

that special, a vital

spoke in the system

 

Yeah, imagine that says the phlebotomist

as I hop to unsteady feet

and point myself towards the sunlight

 

in which I will sit

and Google the bloodline of the Kererū

so I can write this for you.

 

 
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