City of the Future

It’s the kind of town glaciers retreat from

while asphalt melts in the summer sun

cigarette butts flop in concentric circles

every third shop is closing down

queues outside the WINZ on Grey Street

not enough rosary beads for all our sins

a suit someone saw once said

there’s work at AFFCO if you’re clean

I can’t hear them I’m so high

school closed for earthquake strengthening

but Kmart seems to be doing fine

the hospital is bursting at the seams

hardiplank or asbestos

Cody’s seven percents by day

there’s a shooting on Poets’ Corner

that never makes the network news

officially, the city’s safer

we sit around in Nan’s garage

sipping bourbon bought for her

she’ll take our drink to the grave

the bus stop is too far to walk

the TV’s probably still on fire

we’ve got our car on hire-purchase

you know we’re not going far.

Hayden Pyke Tēnā koe. No Kirikiriroa āhau, ko Hayden Pyke tōku ingoa. I’m a partner, father and social worker from the Waikato who now lives in West Auckland. I write poetry and short fiction late at night while my real life is asleep.