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BooksDecember 16, 2022

The Friday Poem: ‘To Proceed Within a Trap (5)’ by Morgan Bach


A new poem by Wellington poet Morgan Bach.

To Proceed Within a Trap (5)

I have watched that Beatles doco
and now I’m not sure what to do

with my life. The immediate hours
and the days that go on,

for now. I watched it with three
generations of family, my sister

our tired host, her kids’ interest
fluctuating, our mother telling

everyone how old she was
at different points in their career.

I work out it’s only thirteen years before
my birth that they’re sitting

in a circle pulling songs
from somewhere, seemingly the air.

Weird to want to fill in the gaps
for them, they’re so familiar.

My other sister keeps climbing hills,
getting to the top

and crying, she tells me.
She’s not sure why, but it’s nice

to get out of the too big house,
which is losing occupants

between each of my visits.
She’s so young, there are so many

decisions, and tinder is so grim.
We have a look through anyway.

I think everyone has had a hard year,
even though it’s gone so fast

in it’s weirdness that even my nephews
feel it, their young years rushing.

And yet, I don’t know what to do
with these last few weeks, before

the year turns. Certainly
I won’t do anything world changing

or even life changing. I probably
won’t encounter anyone

I don’t already know, it’s almost
the holidays after all

and we can’t go anywhere. I will age,
the counting day is soon.

I’ll try to be ok about it, feel lucky
it’s happening at all.

Did the future always gape? An empty
room, requiring a rhythm, a melody

to appear from somewhere, the air to fill
with a scaffolding from out of the minds

of people with enough ego
to give the rest of us something

to look at, to sing along to. To fill
our hours, and our children’s hours.

A little line of notes to chase
through these last few weeks

to the fresh silence
of a new year.


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are now being accepted until 31 January 2023. Please send up to three poems in a Word or PDF document to

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