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Christchurch 1959

for Reg Howard

Poplars shadow those avenues
               where cardiganed drunks natter
               with newly marrieds intent
on erecting six-foot fences.

The sun goes out somewhere between
               Carlton Mill intersection
               and the gates of Christ’s College.
Tomorrow I’ll get my shopping

and talk of the Old Country – ‘home’ –
               with a provincial accent:
               Tonight you’re coming with me.
We’ll close that camphorated chest

where the wedding dress, the best suit
               wait. We’ll breathe the lukewarm year
               together, resolutions
stretching endlessly: horizons

lined with poplars that are dying.

12.1.1989, Napier

 


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