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moana jayne


Growing up
I thought everyone’s father was like mine
until I was about five
and I seen
the stereotypical father on the TV screen
and I was like shit, Dad
I think we’re missing something
’cause they were more like
inside voices
father-daughter conversations
wrapped in fatherly material
when my father's material consisted of:
heavy work boots
and a hi-vis vest
gone before 6:30am
home an hour before I went to bed
the only conversations I would have with my dad was
I’m going to sleep
a quick kiss on the cheek
Growing up
seven years old
still confused because my dad didn’t know
what my favourite colour was
or why I had to be Michelle when we played Destiny’s Child
see, I’m his child
we’re his children
three sisters
one brother
living in the heart of Aranui
with one stay-at-home mother
equals one hard-working father
like damn
nine to five ain’t shit
six to ten is more adequate
to the description my father left me to sum up
I didn’t know who he was
and I blamed him for it
I blamed him for it
Growing up
I grew closer to my mother cause she was always within arm’s reach
asked her about the world and she would answer me
but that does not mean
that I didn’t want to hold my dad’s hand
and shit
I remember this one time
I’d crawled into my parents’ bed cause I couldn’t sleep
but in the morning I watched my dad go and I felt so incomplete
’cause I was in mum and dad’s bed
but it was just
mum and me
you see
when someone shows love differently
to you
you automatically assume
that it is not there
Growing up
I thought you did not care
because we did not share
that same way
’cause you were brought up a different way
to show love in different ways
and I didn’t get it
though I got your frown line
and your brown eyes
I didn’t get it
that you show love differently
and then when I was fifteen it finally hit me
there’s dinner at six
and clothes on my back
there were adventures in the backyard
and enough wood for the winter in a stack
same home since I was two
there were new school shoes
and Saturday Night Treat,
that’s mum’s tradition to give us two dollars to spend on lollies to eat
But we’d always want you to take us
’cause instead of two dollars
you’d give us three
dad you’re the stability
heart and strength of this family
you work hard to protect, provide and love this family
Growing up
you gave us everything we’d ever need
and became the father no other man could ever be
Growing up
for fifteen years I was wrong
so this one’s for my Dad
I’m sorry it took so long.

Moana Jayne is an adventure-craving eighteen-year-old, wanting to see the world and all it has to offer but is afraid to leave. A lover of Phillipa Gregory novels, maroon lipstick, drinking too much on a Saturday night with best friends and of course, poetry. If she is not studying Te Reo at Te Puna Wānaka she can be found writing in her caravan in Ōtautahi.