Karen Zelas



There are no maps
to ease the passage of the godless.

Already he is where none can follow. He
has climbed into this space, this cavern
in near-night, in the far-distance, driven. Cries
that crash in forests of memory. Hunter and hunted,

and which is he? Obscured
in semi-darkness, crouched
head bent to bony knees,
eyes of landed fish. Nothing
can surprise him now. He is halfway
to star. Rasping breath. Rattle
of chest and chains. I would curl
beside him, head in the lap
that held me. Still
he cannot rest. One uncommitted soul.

I would call off the hunter and the hounds.
Silent, I plead his cause. We are connected
one last time.

Go easy, my father.



Karen Zelas is Fiction Editor of Takahē ; editor of Crest to Crest, Impressions of Canterbury: prose and poetry (Wily Publications, 2009). Her poetry has been published in a variety of New Zealand literary magazines and anthologies and is pending in The International Literary Quarterly (Interlitq 12) and in a fine line (NZ Poetry Society). View her novel, Past Perfect (Wily Publications, 2010) at KarenZelas.com.