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C. K. Stead, from Straw Into Gold

The Magic Bagwash

Remember writing a story 10
years ago ended driving a
van 'The Magic Bagwash' north

of Auckland with the motto
'Everything comes out White'
parking on a coarse matt of

grass under pohutukawas
listening to waves flopping
and sighing those days when

Joni Mitchell sang 'Clouds'
and we marched for peace just
a fiction but now like

something that happened
'really' to someone really
young giving it away

cutting his losses. You know
how it is the human
spirit keeps on breaking

out but it was looking down
the long empty beach from
the van with its motto

under pohutukawas gave that
perfect past tense to what
the waves were saying.