if i had to sing

I have no idea what to call this rebirth
and yet I’m here to name it
to feed the new flame

with wood from the old.
Language is a flute, a lily,
a chair overbalancing,

a church we teeter
on the threshold of.
There are places where

they harvest water from the air–
drink fog from a glass then overnight
hang the rag back on the bayonet.

Does a thing which is reborn
need to have died?
All those cities still live

in my mirrors, they rise
and fall again with the sun’s
rounds, the way the planet

carves its own seismic
trench in the solar system.
The spring charges

and recharges its river system
while on the columns of our lives
press unimaginable stresses.

Hold me up now, as I do you.
Sing, and steady me under
your strong, sure feet.

From Funkhaus by Hinemoana Baker (Wellington: Te Herenga Waka University Press, 2020). Copyright © 2020 by Hinemoana Baker. Reprinted with permission of the publisher and poet.