Saturday, April 26, 2008

Catherine Mair & Patricia Prime: IN ADMIRATION OF YOUNG MEN

Will the poem be featured in the newspaper this afternoon?

Stepping on the heels of our shadows we pass beneath the crisp leaves of pin oaks. Cattle on the opposite river bank bawl their anxiety at not being given a fresh break of grass.

The two boys we saw this morning riding their scooters along the haiku pathway now cut tracks on a muddy sandbar.
on a finger of sand
gulls gather
In matching life jackets, a father and son in a 'wash services' ute roll backwards down the boat ramp and off-load their yellow dinghy. Plodding through the mud, they load fishing gear and outboard motor.
tentative dip
of the learner's oars
Kneeling on the platform's edge a group of little girls admire the skill of boys skipping stones. Turning their backs they race towards the carved sea-elephant and clamber up its smooth side.

Outside the backpackers' hostel two flags and two lines of flamboyant boxers flap in the sea breeze. While they wait for their washing to dry the youths toss a ball around. Demonstrating his dexterity one lad spins the ball on a fingertip.

We walk up the slope from the river and stop at the gas station to buy the local newspaper. Pausing on a high street bench we read our poem 'Admiration' …
in faded T-shirts
old shorts
and earth-caked boots
the young men
own the world

by Catherine Mair and Patricia Prime
Katikati, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
and Auckland, New Zealand

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