Take care,

I say, as I sign off, meaning what, exactly?
It’s better than best wishes, I guess, though you have those,
my best wish being that you take care – when, for instance,
you run up Mount Victoria or along Oriental Parade,
that you are mindful of inattentive motorists who change CDs
or answer texts or who just drive crazy fast and I know,
they haven’t got murder on their minds, but they would crush you
and their lives would be changed like yours for the worse
and they would be very sorry but what’s the use of being sorry?
Take care as you ride certain Wellington streets, your face scrunched,
set into the wind that at any moment could catch the loose flap
of your jacket and cartwheel you and your frail bike into the sea,
and as you crested each swell it would catch you again and blow you
further and further out. Take care when unwrapping yourself
at night, because you have sharp edges and many times I have cut
my hands on them in the darkness through not taking care.
Yours is the way of carelessness. Yours is the way of near misses,
of prangs, falls, of that was close and Phew! You should finely regard
what you disregard. You should be marked fragile, this way up,
and you should be handled, if you are handled at all, with care.
You are precious, so carry yourself carefully through this day,
don’t drop yourself because you will smash and fly apart
in every direction, and then, and when that happens –
who will gather you, who will pick you all up I’d like to know? 

Published in Sport 39, 2011