Orange crayon stick figure man

(On reading ‘with’ Sam Hunt at the Parnell Rose Gardens)
 
Sam, Sam
my orange crayon stick figure man
I love you
because you are what you do
and did what you said
back in ‘82
I was eleven when you came
to our Avondale school
you looked drunk but
you were nobody’s fool
like the unsung pied piper
you played your own tune
 
and we followed
and we followed
 
in shirt hung like a rolling stone maxim
flung over black exclamation mark jeans
puncturing our poetry rulz 4eva
and I loved you
 
and we followed
and we followed
 
and we followed
your DB Brown words
your hill rolling slurs
your breathes  your chants  your lamentations
your strides  your quivers  your gesticulations
 
so, I wanna to beg your pardon
I know you never promised me a rose garden
but here we are
and I’m doing what you did
and I’m telling
 
Sam, Sam
my orange crayon stick figure man
we’d only just begun
when you coloured in our tongue
waxing oh so lyrical, tragical, comical
kiwi Shakespeare shearing in our school hall
from one rant to the next
to the other and the one after that and that
 
Sam
you one cool cat…and…
I love you.
 

first published in Metro (National Library of New Zealand, 2010, © Selina Tusitala Marsh 2010, used by permission of the author

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