Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hope River

The river is muddy gold,
racketing alongside the road,
swelled with unseasonal rain.

They used to pan for gold in it too once -
long ago when the country was newly discovered,
divulging plants, animals, and people
never known of before.

Men in battered, flop-brimmed hats
and Amish clothes squint from sepia photos
in museums, alongside decrepit hovels
and shambolic mines -

left their mother countries
and journeyed to this New Zealand
in hope of finding riches
they could never have at home.

Now Japanese tourists laugh and jostle
for a digital snapshot of a genuine
gold rush river.


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