I’ve never had a home,
A real one you know,
In here, my ngākau.
I grew up outside of my rohe,
Iwi, hapū, whānau,
A product of colonisation,
I learnt tīkanga through education,
Waiata, reo, kapahaka,
Taken from the traditions of the tangata whenua.
We visited their marae on school trips,
The only taste of Māoritanga I would know.
And I was jealous of the ones,
Who stood staunch in their tūrangawaewae,
Not like me,
A piece of seaweed,
In a turbulent sea.
So, I travelled 12 hours to my people,
I gave an auntie a hug.
My shoulders in her fingertips,
She looked me in the eyes,
And I read “welcome home,”
From her wrinkled lips.
I went home that night and cried,
A feeling of warmth in my heart.
I’ve never had a home before,
But what she gave me,
It’s a start.