The Day After

The wildlife centre’s veterinary
staff continued on their tasks
caring for sick and injured
wildlife as Christchurch set
about recovering from shootings
at local mosques the day before.

Much was spelt out on the news
about the need to have many
armed police on the streets.
Overseas such terrorist attacks
are followed by more attacks
retaliatory, copycat, punishing.

Wildlife staff gasped, stared,
as two heavily armed police
entered the centre in full
Armed Offenders Squad gear
complete with helmets, rifles.

On the reception counter the police
laid a bundle, unrolled it to show
overalls protecting a leggy
two week old pukeko* chick.

Pukekos have no road sense,
are quite disdainful of cars.
The chick’s Mum ran in front
of the police car, but the police
saved her chick, brought him in.

He is living on a foster carer’s
farmlet, eating grass and grubs,
wading happily in the swamp.

*New Zealand swamp hen

The Day After