Cilla McQueen has written 19 collections of poetry; her latest are Poeta and Qualia, one of six chapbooks in Bundle 1, Maungatua Press. Three of her collections have won the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry. She has been the University of Otago’s Burns Fellow and a Fulbright Visiting Writers’ Fellows, among other honours. She was New Zealand’s Poet Laureate 2009-11 and is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. She lives in Bluff. This poem was first published in A Kind of Shelter Whakaruru-taha, edited by Witi Ihimaera and Michelle Elvy.