As a child in Mangere, Auckland
I had my favourite tree.
The tallest one... in our front yard,
that everyone could see.
A sacred place of happiness
I confessed my ev'ry dream.
To climb..to climb....so high in the sky
I swung... from beam to beam.
It's bark was thick and very strong,
which helped me, keep my grip.
I pulled myself, higher and higher
being careful not to slip!
At times my mum would hit my hand
because... I had... been naughty.
She usually chose the wooden spoon.
Her aim was never faulty.
'Thwack' ...and 'Thwack'! She'd hit each hand.
Couldn't wait till it was over.
Mum reminded me ev'ry single time
'Be good, to god Jehovah'.
I'd climb my tree with swollen hands
they throbbed right to the bone.
I didn't care how much they hurt
I was safe and finally ALONE.
I swayed and swayed above our house
upon my favourite branch.
The leaves would sing sweet songs of freedom
and put me in a trance.
My tears would dry eventually
as I came back to myself.
I noticed then, some ca-ter-pillars.
had joined me on my shelf.
They were covered in the brightest colours
of lime... and blue ...and yellow.
We spoke all day about my life.
They never thought it shallow.
I also shared the dreams I had
of creating as an artist.
They clapped and cheered, and always said,
'Fani. You are the greatest!’.
But every time I climbed the tree,
my friends had always changed.
Growing fatter every time we spoke
They never looked the same.
Until one day, no longer crawling
and NOW a brown cocoon.
For days I'd whisper to their shells
whilst they wiggled in their room.
Then fi-nal-ly the day arrived
T'was time to reappear.
Their wings were brown and black and cream
A moth, that brought a tear.
I'd wave goodbye. T’was time to go.
My dreams had taken flight.
I knew one day they’d all come true,
It became my daily plight.
Still to this day, when things appear
and change from day to day.
The Cecropia moth is my symbol.
It’s natures changing way.
Although the tree no longer exists
It grows inside my heart.
The spirit of freedom lives within
Endings…. bringing a brand ‘new’ start.