Getty Images
Getty Images

BooksSeptember 24, 2021

The Friday Poem: Young Adult Success Stories, by Erik Kennedy

Getty Images
Getty Images

A new poem from Christchurch poet Erik Kennedy.

Young Adult Success Stories

This fantastic article outlines how, at the tender age of twenty-two, Brad got seed money for his underwear delivery start-up and bought a Bugatti. What an amazing tale of industry and sticktoitiveness. How did he do it? Ah, yes, it’s right there in paragraph 8—he has rich parents.

I’d also urge you to read about Kaitlyn, who took a gap year to do an internship in the tourism sector in Thailand and managed to save $8,000 of the $200,000 needed for a down payment on an Art Deco bungalow at the seaside. She recently bought the property. What was her secret? Allow me to blow your mind: she has rich parents.

And all you incipient entrepreneurs out there will certainly want to note the example of Sarah Jane, who took her passion for crafting and made it a career. Her knitted hamper covers are a must-have. Now she lives on a horse farm in Devon. Rich parents? That’s right, rich parents.

♢ ♢ ♢

O rich parents! you grey eminences of the markets,
you unseen, almost edited-out powers of feel-good stories,
you assisters in hitting impossible targets,
you producers of inglorious earners and unearned glories,
please parent us as well—the small strugglers of life,
the alienated labour, the up-to-their-eyeballs in student debt debtors,
the scrappers who feel like they’re sawing timber with a butter knife
every day or who download, every morning, a new set of fetters!

O rich parents, parent us, too, in your abstracted and aloof way!
Support us like the lighter-than-air gas that you are,
float us like a pity zeppelin, like a kite above a motorway!
Make the far near and make the ridiculously far less far.
O rich parents, treat us like one of your precious Ruperts or Priscillas!
I pray to the even richer superbeings above you,
if you help us, we’ll stop calling you parasites and spirit-killers.
We’ll do something I think you’ll get: society will pretend to love you.


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again soon.

Keep going!