‘hit the road, Jack’
“Our mother’s a witch
with a hooked nose
and she’s going to eat you up,”
my sister tells the postmaster’s son
after he’s overstayed
No second warning’s needed.
Long after he’s turned
McAllister’s corner, we still hear
the clatter of his trike’s metal tray
leaving us the gravel road
with its centre line of mayweed
and silky potholes,
once again, quiet, empty
and so much ours that if we wanted to
we could lie down
in the middle of it
and sometimes did.
Kay McKenzie Cooke
This is a poem from my next collection titled 'born to a red-headed woman'. Each poem has as its title the name of a song that is relevant to the time in which the poem is set - which in the case of this poem, is the early 1960's. The song, 'Hit The Road Jack' was a hit for Ray Charles in 1961 when I was eight years old and in Standard One.
On my recent trip back to Orepuki, I stood at what we knew as McAllister's corner and took a photo that shows the view down towards the ocean and town, thus standing once again on 'our road' almost fifty years on from the time the poem describes.
For more poetry, go to Tuesday Poem .