POEM by Vaughan Gunson

Rough
poem by Vaughan Gunson, Hikurangi

Detouring, if on hunch, taken perhaps
by a message imbedded on a faded sign,
which invites you, in an old fashioned way
to leave the criss-crossed tourist route

to sail along a wide street, used once
for carriages and proper women in white
embroidered dresses, and barefooted kids
in collars; a temporary stretch of bitumen

and stone, before the mud and puddles
return, that our quiet ancestors knew
in their distant photos, who looked down
more often to the unevenness of ground

we’ve strived to flatten. Look both ways
at the easy floating trees and timbered walls―
you won’t see our rough desires and coarse
failures; the blistering from all we polish.

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