POEM: ‘Fox and Hounds’ by Anne Kennedy

The Sea Walks into a Wall1

In the summer you might end up going for a lager
at a pretty beer garden named for the slaughter

of the endangered red fox by marauding dogs
followed by boomy packs of rich folk on horseback

who own the dogs, the horses, the land where the fox
lived its short life. You might be interested to know

that in the UK it is no longer legal to let the dogs
tear the fox to shreds. It must be killed humanely

whereby the hunters dismount, walk towards the fox
in their high brown boots and shoot it in the head.

Meanwhile hunt saboteurs lay citronella to put the dogs
off the scent, and wires to trip the horses (poor horses).

You may end up wanting to tripwire the property
market because you hate the property market.



You end up at an auction where young people bid
astronomical amounts for dumps in outer suburbs

which they could make into a home with a bit of work.
But the investor in the corner walks over in their boots

and bids and bids until they own all the houses. They
can’t live in all the houses, they don’t need all the houses

but they want them, and they can have them because
the policy-makers say that they can. They say, one day

we’ll build more houses, we’ll limit investing, and also
young people like flatting, they like houses the size of

a cupboard. Not us, but then, we’ve always had a house
we’ve always had a house with two bathrooms, a garden

and a garage in a nice street. Oh, and we have another
house, in the country, and the fox is half-dead.

The Sea Walks into a Wall by Anne Kennedy, Auckland University Press, RRP $24.99