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
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.
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