The 18th of May and here we are, sister
Your two elderly siblings, bending to your gravestone
With blossoms so fairest- gathered from roadside and gardens -
Bouquets that should have been for your 60th birthday.

We remember the day you were born
The whoop of delight I gave that you were a girl
At last our luck was in, now there would be three of us girls,
Even stevens with the boys, after eight long years
You were never an afterthought – you became our ‘peata beag’.

Yes you crowded out the girls room
But there was always space enough for all your things,
Books and toys, sharing clothes and oh the storytelling
Not that you became rooted there, a homebird while we flew the nest
No, you spread your wings across countries and continents
You saw the whole of the moon

For nature was your element
You transplanted yourself into a landscape as old as time
Fashioned a magical garden that
Drew water from an ancient spring
And happily counted weeds as survivors.

But you did not.
As the beast from the East roared
Your heart was stilled and ours broken
So here we are, our Queen of the May
We who are elderly now, you who are not
Oh, sister. Where is the luck in that?