Matariki Poem by  Fern Campbell

‘Blood’  

‘My mother said my singing voice came

from the Māori blood

all Māori women are good singers

you’ve only got a drop, mind – probably in your pinky finger

I tried to work out how

it remembered to stay in one place

and why all my blood wasn’t two different colours

 

The teachers said I was pākehā

white with freckles, red hair, blue eyes – Irish not Māori

when we Europeans mihi, we say ‘ko tauiwi tōku iwi’

I quit kapa haka as they said crochet was more for us Europeans

 

A kaumatua said most South Island Māori are white

red hair, freckles, blue eyes, but your nose is totally Māori

people of your iwi say ‘ko Ngāi Tahu tōku iwi’

Tahu-Pōtiki, I am your pale-skinned, freckled descendant

my blood is the same as yours’

By  Fern Campbell

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