blackmail press 31  Marginalization
Vaughan Gunson
New Zealand

Marginalization - Pauline Canlas Wu
Vaughan Gunson is a writer, art teacher, gallery curator, and eco-socialist living in Hikurangi, Northland. His poems have been published in Poetry NZ, Takahe, Side Stream, Blackmail Press, and the NZ Listener. More of his poems can be read at


she waits at the corner,
the house behind her
where the poplar trees
have been cut,
a row of stumps
like small volcanic cones.
she stands still,
feels the anger
lashed inside her.

she looks back
to the flag, draped large
on the wooden fence.
black & red,
with the white koru
meeting together
the darkness
the desire.

she remembers
the pushing, the sharp yells,
the clatter of battered skin & muscle;
the panic
in the eyes
of the pakeha suit—
dirt of generations thrown.

a muffled grunt
exits her lips.

in the distance she sees the van.
lights on full, because
of the heavy fog that sits
over Hikurangi.
she sighs
bends to pick up
the worn straps of her bag
which she holds straight
over one shoulder

& she waits.