the answer to first questions

for Lennox

the first one born
& you start thinking

more than before
about death at some

hour. you push on
& the second is born

—the combined
philosophical weight

of first questions
more than doubles:

the first 4.41kg,
the second 4.65kg.

one philosopher
thought it was better

to exist, than not to.
so children should

thank their parents.
another wasn’t so sure.

tonight, after your bath
I watched you playing

with your animals.
you started to knock

each animal over,
pronounced them dead.

the cow, dead.
the sheep, dead.

the horse, dead.
the pig, dead.

the rooster, dead.
the dog, dead.

2 ½ years old, you
couldn’t understand.

but me knowing
that one day you will.

Published in Takahe 73, Winter 2011.

Read by Sam Hunt on Kiwi FM, 31 July, 2009.