Rain, and a flurry of wind shaking the pear's white blossom
Outside our kitchen window and tossing the lassiandra
As it did that morning four-year-old Michele Fox
Sat at our table painting shapes she said were flowers
While we listened to the news: a coaster missing up North,
A flare sighted in the night over Pandora Bank,
Radio contact lost — the ship's name, Kaitawa.
That was eight years ago. On the bus north
To Reinga and Spirits' Bay the driver remembers it —
Not a man saved, not even a body recovered,
Only smashed timber scattered down miles of coast
To tell how quickly it can come. I kept that painting —
It was the world she saw believing she had father.
He was third engineer, a Scotsman, a good neighbour lost.
C. K. Stead