A BED OF LEAVES
In the city, a notebook opens; a blind hand finds a pen.
Her study gets little sun. But beyond the traffic,
she thinks she hears pīwakawaka in the train-station tree.
There are rosebuds on her lips – a rare tea,
and the sharp aroma of burning oudh; it calms her.
But still she sighs and stands. She allows herself a moment
to contemplate the autumn scene printed, on her wall,
held up by masking tape, before crossing the room
to find her bag and the headphones deep within.
She pays no attention to the cracked wallpaper
or the stacks of books with nowhere else to go.
She returns to her desk. She takes another sip,
savouring the sound of porcelain on porcelain,
before emerging into her world. The headphones layer
fireplace sounds and distant rain, purring kittens
and mechanical jazz. She closes her eyes.
And for a moment, her room is filled with light,
and a single square of sun imprints itself on the wall..
Note: Pīwakawaka is the New Zealand fantail, associated in Māori mythology with the presence of death.