Maintrunk Country Roadsong

Today’s contribution of poetry month is Maintrunk Country Roadsong by Sam Hunt from Time To Ride, published by Alister Taylor, 1975.

Maintrunk Country Roadsong


Driving south and travelling

not much over fifty,

I hit a possum . . . “Little

man” I muttered copping

down to second gear,

“I never meant you any harm”


My friend with me, he himself

a man who loves such nights

bright headlight nights, said

“Possums? just a bloody pest,

they’re better dead!”

He’s right of course.


So settling back, food down hard,

Ohakune, Tangiwai –

as often blinded by

the single headlight of

a passing goods train as by

any passing car –


Let the Midnight Special shine

its ever loving light on me:

they run a prison farm

somewhere round these parts;

men always on the run.

These men know such searchlight nights:


those wide shining

eyes of that young possum

full-beam back on mine,

watching me run over him . . .

“Little man

I never meant you any harm”

   – Sam Hunt –

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