What I’d like

I don’t much like the thought
Of being stretched out straight
And stiff in a long box
With all the warmth gone out
Of me. I don’t like to think of it
Or whatever follows after:

Worms to dust, a thrifty god’s
Miraculous recycling,
An honourable god’s
Promised resurrection.
No one knows what’s bound to be,
No one has a choice. With luck

What else, the how and where of it
Will be what I’d like, that’s all.
First the box: keep it simple.
Plain wood lined with cotton
Will do with wooden handles.
I can’t stand chrome and satin.

As for the spot: definitely
Not that place up the river —
I’d hate that — or in a lonely
Valley or up a hill too steep
To climb easily. You might
Like to visit on my

Anniversary Day.
And not in the suburbs,
I lived there far too long.
I want to be near the sea.
Dig the hole good and deep
And pack me down firmly.

There might be a special
Dispensation that lets
Old bones buried well feel
Papatūānuku tremble
When Tangaroa comes
Pounding on her door.

That’s what I’d like.