Next year

For many years Mr Patel owned our local dairy. One night he was beaten up. We’ve heard this same story a lot of times now. This poem is in All of Us, poems by Carina Gallegos and me, published by Landing Press 2018. You can hear this poem on Paula Green’s Poetry Shelf website. NZ Poetry Shelf: Next year

 

Mr Patel

sits in the corner of our corner shop

between the heater and the cigarettes.

He wears a purple bush shirt and green socks,

on winter nights his knuckles turn to grey.

Every year he rubs his hands and says

‘I’m going back to India next year.’

 

Last week two men came to his shop quite late.

They beat him round the head and took the cash.

 

Mr Patel

sits in the shop below a new alarm

with red lights winking right across his forehead.

He rubs his hands and says ‘I’m going back

to India

 

next year.’