This poem, part riddle, is based on an art piece commissioned by my daughter for her father. It is stone polished clay in the shape of an eyebrow. The word Kape, which is our family name, means eyebrow in Maori. Because the shape is reflective of a seed pod the imagery is extended as a metaphor for each of our five birthed children.
Eyebrow of Burnished Clay … The Kape
for my late husband Pat, and our children
This, a connection to the land am I.
Many heads in one frame,
a small family.
I am the faces of all your ancestors.
Your descendants cannot escape me.
You are a language of clay speaking
Here, feel my smoothness.
There, I am as the hair on your head.
I am safe should I drop.
Raising comes naturally to me.
the number of fingers
on one hand.
I am representative of questions and gestures.
I am all the answers of your small tribe.
They say hair never rots; neither shall I.
I am never to be seen by your young as logo.
Nor I am a coat of arms, though with ever less
and far more complications, but I am truly
a symbol of your lineage. I am so young
my guardianship has yet to be negotiated.
As I greet you,
the fact that I am not raised
is a matter of respect.
Benita H. Kape © 14.4.2015