Poem by Dinah Hawken

The Motorway Minister

The Minister of Business and Innovation is an expressway. Smaller roads are too minor for him. We pay for him but we cannot cross him. He is a divider. We pay for him with our homes, trees, family, friends and quiet breathable air while he says he is saving our time for us, making money for us, paving our future for us. He will carry our oil and coal, our milk and beef, our logs, our rare earth minerals. He is a trucking and carbon-making road. He doesn’t know that you bike to school. He hasn’t met your grandmother who lives on the other side. He doesn’t know the final truth about water and trees. He has never seen – even in his mind’s eye – the country that we want to live in. He doesn’t know because he is a highway. He lives on a rare earth but he doesn’t see it and he doesn’t know it. He is in charge and he is charging.’