Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Barbara Strang: THE OMAUI ROAD

The grownups are behind a newspaper. Something is being decided. At 10.30 our family crams into the Morris 8, Mum, Dad and baby in the front, and three of us packed in the back with belongings. We start along the windswept road to Bluff, but soon turn down a rutted track. Before us lies a sea of speckled mud.

The road to Omaui is not a road at all—it lies across this inlet called the Mokemoke, usually full of water. But where has it all gone? It could come rushing back . . . in one huge wave, engulfing the Morris 8, and us. We whizz over the smooth surface, probably crushing thousands of crabs. Ever closer to mysterious Omaui Hill with the three weird bumps on top.

Some day they will build a proper road to Omaui, which will skirt the Mokemoke and thrust through the patch of bush. We will drive there on Sunday afternoons.

almost hidden
amongst flax bushes­—
the crib!

Note: “Flax”—the native harakeke, whose sword-like leaves can grow over six feet. “Crib”—Southern New Zealand dialect meaning holiday cottage

by Barbara Strang
Christchurch, New Zealand
first published in
Kokako 6, 2007

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