The old pohutukawa of Brick Bay

She said, you’re the only

grandfather I know

who climbs trees without being asked.


I blessed her brown skinny limbs

and her brother’s sandy scraped fearless feet

as they followed my slow shod ascent.


While the three of us clung and straddled

the low reaches of that grand old tree

sprawled over sand and stream,


I was mindful of bifocal lenses,

an arthritic right shoulder

and a prosthetic hip, yet my heart


sang with the whispering waves

and the whistle of the sea breeze

in my hearing aids.

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