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Plain Weave|

Location becomes ingrained in the object
and its story,
in us,
in the cracks of our heels,
between round willow weaves, over/under the thicker spokes
in the up-set corners
of a plain-weave basket.

Inside the picnic basket is not most important,
beneath is where it’s at:

where are we going?

You have to take the turn fast
and in the mirror the bottle of bubbly rolls
off the highway onto the dusty road
(i mean across the backseat),
making the basket rattle
under the bridge as the cars behind us
accelerate above, across, away and
let’s hope the fruit doesn’t squash the jubilee sandwiches;
only a brief snaking loss of traction then a slow river
between giant graffitied concrete pillars and rounded boulders so

as for your fancy almond-flour cakes,
none of this matters like dirt under your tyres.

Here, there’s a patch of grass and weeds
soon giving way to the creaking hamper,
chlorophyll staining the fibres of basket and knee
beside a waterfall, where someone’s hair drips
mountain water into the willow weave while

unseen grubs munch the grass from underneath,
pausing to eavesdrop on us, feasting above.

Next time it might be beside the
seaside, side-eying the salad and the sand

on the blue fabric lining your wicker treasure chest, a loose berry getting gritty, a jammy knife, stray; crumbs on the blanket, our hair still wet, again, still, falling back, eyes closed in the sunshine
and hearing the hinge squeak open.

Inside is not what’s most important, nor underneath, it’s who’s beside the kete that counts,
beside us:

who are we?

Who, in a minute or two, is going to
gently touch your arm and say

“Hey?”

Objects become ingrained in their own provenance
and in our stories too, memories
in the wrinkles of our eyes,
between round willow weaves
over/under thicker spokes,
in the up-set corners
of a plain-weave basket.
Aaron Compton
Tūranganui a Kiwa
The third stanza is woven, alternating lines from what had been two separate stanzas, the ends trimmed to fit.
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