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The Unveiling

Nanny Bella's unveiling is today.
We walk along the dusty road, bend

between the fence wires at the foot of the
cemetery hill, and climb up. Some of us

drive the distance. It's a clear hot day.
The priest unveils the stone with a simple

hymn and ceremony. It looks beautiful.
Nanny's photo looks up at me. I think

of the way she used to say my brother's
name, so happy and loud, I cry.

All the whanau touch her grave out of respect.
Once she was my only Nanny. I turn around.

Someone talks to me about Karetu, 'it's
quite an ugly valley really, but it's special'.

Ugly? I think. I wash my hands at the tap
by the cemetery gate. Then I walk away.

 


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