Hot Summer Walk

On Auckland’s summer streets I seek the shady side
Under chattering clattering palms.
I tread on crisp puka leaves
That shatter like toast.

How long have those old people been slumped
On rattan chairs on that verandah
Under black karaka trees speckled with orange berries?

Those young fluoro people with flossy floppy hair,
How can they leap about, batting yellow tennis balls
Into the damp white duvet air?

It is a long way between driveways –
Like a swim up river – to pick up a child from kindy
Who will want to walk home bare foot,
Even though the pavement burns.

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