Kirsti Whalen (Yr 12, Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland)

Chain of Fools

we are green weeds
hot boxed in Saturday night blues
falling off chairs and spinning
while Shaun smokes cigars.

we are McDonald’s for breakfast
traipsing into his hash-browned cures
forgetting the diet for the ball, for the boy
who smirks and lurks down the road,
and when we leave the watered-down orange juice
on the roof of the car, we laugh and swerve away.

we are the Mothers, lecturing ourselves
about liver failure and smoke clouding our lungs,
but listening is forgotten as plans for next Friday roll;
we don’t mind the texts that make no sense
‘coz everyone knows you’re smashed
and you couldn’t mean I Love You.

we are the peace of the floor –
under the table and into the night, we
chunder in the gardens and reach for
more Absinthe, more Bernardino, another
quick shot. forget the bible and thirty pieces
of silver – that’s not enough for Vodka Cruisers
so we rummage in more purses and snigger at them
Thou Shalt Steal.

we are parties shaded loosely as movie nights
so yes never swaps to no, but though we say
we’re sorry (for laughter and blood shot eyes,
for stains that mottle the carpeted floor
and apologies many times defied)

we are next Saturday night.