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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 2. 13th March 1974

He Never Once Lost His Way

He Never Once Lost His Way

Drawing of a paddle with Maori carvings

I rewalk in my thoughts the streets of Wellington: a youth at three in the morning, staggering home from a frantic party, feeling the universe against him, dying for a woman to heal the bone's rage.

No money but he didn't care, the road unwinding back into darkness and houses tight as mausoleums. Cops in black cars stopped him frequently, asked where he was going, how much money he had. (It isn't safe if you're not Caucasian, your dark skin reminds the cops of midnight's terrors—you may be on your way to rape their virginal wives and daughters!) Lied to them that he was a law student, they left him alone to his silent rage and a cold room waiting where dawn began. He never once lost his way.

I retrace those streets, searching for that youth to ask that he save me with his compass of anger. I have lost the way.

Albert Wendt