The cabbage tree was, they said,
dead. There was nothing they
or anyone could do
now or any day -
how sorry they
were, and sad.
But the cabbage tree heard them -
they never noticed
it shaking its head:
it shook it so hard
stars were said to have spread
from where the cabbage tree stood:
a blossoming, new constellation
across that night sky south.
Someone said just
you can’t put out.
'Old Flames' from Doubtless: New and Selected Poems (Craig Potton Publishing, 2008), © Sam Hunt 2008, used by permission of the author.
Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives (2004).