The precious pearl – Pat Wilson
The oyster shuts his gates to form the pearl.
He knows he has a saviour caught within him,
Poor fool, old oyster. And it works against him,
An irritant that’s locked within his shell,
A single-mindedness that thins his hear,
Turns it to narrowheartedness. Yet he,
Poor fool, poor oyster, used to love the sea
In all its many forms, to every part
Open with tranquil, unassuming jaws.
Then that foul irritant was driven in,
And snap! the wounded tongue cherished its sin
Until at last by hard, immobile laws
A shining, perfect pebble made from wrong –
A perfect grievance – rolled from off the tongue.
O'Sullivan, V. (Ed.). (1979). An anthology of twentieth century New Zealand poetry. Wellington: Oxford University Press.