Tuesday Poem: The Divided Country, by Mark Pirie

Walking to the dairy
to buy milk is no easy
thing when you’re in Dunedin.
Like this morning, I was
walking down Great King Street
when a car pulls up
and someone screams out the window,
“OTAGOOO!!”
I couldn’t help myself. I yelled
back, “HURRICANES BEAT YOU, MAN!”
The guy was stunned. He hurled his can
at me, beer spraying
across the street. Then, he tore off
and I walked into the dairy. It seems
the Dunedin mornings
are the saddest. “Just wait,” says
the girl at the counter, “for the rain!”

1999

Credit note: “The Divided Country” is published in Mark Pirie’s collection of rugby poems, Sidelights,, which I’ll be reviewing on this blog soon.

Tim says: When I think of a country divided by rugby, the first thing that comes to mind is the 1981 Springbok Tour. But this poem is about a different sort of division: the eternal divide between New Zealand’s five Super 15 franchises. I reckon I’ve walked to that dairy a few time, too.

The Tuesday Poem: Is the 2013 Takahē Poetry Competition winner.

One thought on “Tuesday Poem: The Divided Country, by Mark Pirie

  1. Interesting. I had assumed New Zealand was almost a yobbo-free area.I enjoy poems about sport, if they are done well, and this one packs quite a bit into it. So many liquids are mentioned! We are caught up in a beer hurricane, or at least a drizzle.Is there really a Great King Street? It sounds a tad hyperbolic!

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