Old flames

Old flames

The cabbage tree was, they said,
dead. There was nothing they
or anyone could do
now or any day -
how sorry they
were, and sad.

But the cabbage tree heard them -
they never noticed
it shaking its head:
it shook it so hard
stars were said to have spread
from where the cabbage tree stood:

a blossoming, new constellation
across that night sky south.
Someone said just
some fires
you can’t put out.

'Old Flames' from Doubtless: New and Selected Poems (Craig Potton Publishing, 2008), © Sam Hunt 2008, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives (2004).

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