Monday's poem

Garden Plots

By Ruth Arnison

A lunchtime walk, winter brisk. Gloves, hats and foggy words
keep us warm. The lights at the Gardens intersection
overriden by police.

Observing our pedestrian status they stop traffic, wave us across
like ducklings strayed onto a busy road. Embarrassed we scurry,
middle-aged, ungainly.

At the drinking fountain, the pipes are frozen, midday thirst
unquenched. We turn right after the bridge, taking the path
to Dundas St. You know, she says,

I can't walk here on my own, not since . . . Vanda, I prompt
Yeh, she says, I think it was down there, the murder.
A jogger brushes past us, shivering we move on.

She's writing another one, she says. It's not right, authors
taking over the city. Soon we'll be walking all over
their plots.

Ruth Arnison is a Dunedin poet and editor of Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ).

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