Bird of a Single Flight

we met only once,
it was that morning
but i will never forget you,
your life is part of mine now
and i will always remember.
you wore a white blouse,
so very bright in the morning
whilst i was unshaven
and in my dressing gown.

you had become the kotuku,
that beautiful bird
of a single flight
whilst i was earth bound
and became your epitaph.

it was early,
and i had woken
from that same old
dream of africa
the machine guns,
the blood,
and the angry black faces.

i remember the way your hair,
billowed in the wind,
and as i watched you fall
i began to bless myself
in the old way
'In nomine Patri, et Filio'.
and pray that when your journey
God would hold your soul
in the palm of his hand.

©Mike Subritzky
September 2001

In Memory of all who died that day: 11 September 2001

Kotuku - A New Zealand native heron, which is pure white and very rare. Ancient Maori believed that if a Kotuku was ever sighted it heralded the death of a Great Chief. It is regarded as the magical 'Bird of a Single Flight'.