she goes off with him – just like that.
with heels, her baby and husband also.
and he had a horse – let’s say
and impatient eyes, enough
her skin gets sleeping on straw.
without you. She used to walk
in the poplars. The leaves were yellow
wanting her back. Her friends worried
but she wouldn’t return.
and the poplars reach into the sky.
where the next fifty years passed.
did she become a tavern owner,
or die quickly from a fever
Did her dreams cross at night,
which man she left with?
and she was gone – just like that.
New Zealand interview
it doesn’t matter about the rest
of the world or whether the earth
goes round the sun. You see,
Julie, at the end of the day
people don’t want to be out-of-date
constantly looking over their shoulders
standing on their heads to see television
rolling down the street like orange jaffas –
no, they don’t want that.
At the end of the day you wouldn’t
tackle a giant with a shoelace
give up your car to get about
in a rainbow-coloured balloon
hop down the street on your left foot
to save shoe leather
rip up your lawn to plant ferns –
I mean how would you barbecue
and where would your trampoline go?
Can you see that happening, Julie,
can you? And it’s absurd to think
people would trust a person
who slips through walls
love someone who wins all the prizes
admire a celeb who’s always dropping the pill
take shit from a piker (unless there’s really
something in it for them).
I’m sorry, Julie, I’m sorry
but it just won’t happen.
Much as I’d like it
much as you’d like it
at the end of the day
we all live in one tent
swim with the herd
obey the law
drive the car
walk the dog to the corner
wear shoes that go clipperty-clop
while our mouths go yakerty-yak
live in the community
want a good price for our houses –
so I’m sorry about that.
You see, Julie, at the end of the day
people don’t want airy crumbs
they can’t live on poetry, pies in the sky,
they don’t want fat blokes in transparent suits
to feel guilty about things they can’t fix
love without being loved in return.
At the end of the day, they’ve got to vote
and pay the pills (sorry I mean bills)
know that the sun comes up, the moon
goes down, the earth is round
curtains get drawn, cars start, dogs yap
cats purr, babies scream, and that we,
we’re doing all we can. Yes, Julie
it’s all very well to win ugly
but at end of the day
when it comes
to the nitty gritty, when the sun
goes down, Julie, I think you’ll see
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Macpherson is a Wellington poet and photographer. She completed the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria in 2006. Her last publication is Millionaire’s Shortbread (a joint poetry collection), published by Otago University Press in 2003.