By Anne Hollier Ruddy

I was born in paradise –

wind stroking coconut palms

surf spray on coral reef

sunshine blessing our skin.

Then we left.


I look back at that Eden

from my new country’s house

on its quarter-acre section

fenced off from neighbours.

It is lonely.


I have all mod-cons

plenty of stuff around me

but a hollow in my heart

for there’s no aiga –

that culture lost.


I was brought up to be

a brown-skinned Pākehā

(English father knew best)

but in my core I feel

I’m still kaiviti.

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