Raina Kingsley

At the River

another day at the river
dust thrown up
by cars driving on
to a better spot

heat waves dancing
on the scorching stones

they need the sun
after an ice cold spell
in the fast flowing water

laid out on their towels
tingling warmth
turning to burning

for a laugh
she flicks river water
onto his sizzling back

his reaction swift
only half expected

up and striding
toward her
he sweeps her off her feet

“put me down”
obediently he lets her fall

not into the river
but onto the stones
the hot, sharp stones

Raina Kingsley is of Ngai Tahu, Ngati Mamoe, Ngati Kahungunu and Rangitane descent. This year she is a student at the Hagley Writers’ Institute. Her poems are published in Quakes and Community, Leaving the Red Zone, Poetry NZ.