Mist is thick around us.
I weigh words out onto a page.

So this is the land
that was confiscated.
In 1868 the town was laid
out on cultivations, on forest, on swamp
on a detailed map, sent back
to the Mother Country.

The first “settlers”
who’d fought their way here
mostly couldn’t prosper
couldn’t garden, couldn’t get work
- walked off, back to Auckland.

My neighbour says
 his hapu taught
 the ones who stayed
how to make huts, to get food
(this isn’t mentioned in the books)

We’ve chosen a house to rent
at the edge of that early block
  by the old town belt
now a marae, a school, a velodrome
acres of grass, the deerstalker’s club
- next year, when they get the money
the motorway goes through.

My family came north
a couple of generations after
the invasion, and generations
  after that, to prosper.
It’s warm here and the soil’s rich.

I’m the child of the future
  in whose name
the work has been done.

Today, I can look at the sun direct
through thin layers of white
cloud that lies over     between us
drops of water fill the air like static.

My parents left.  I’ve tried
  to too, but here I sit
writing poetry, prospering
   in the city’s glittering vision
& the milk in my coffee, the corn
    - oh jewel of the Waikato.

We come back.  We come back.
History persists
in every one of us.