Barter in the Forthcoming Wasteland

by Henry Chase Richards

Today I sold something that used to be called an iPhone. 

But I call it a Hen-Wizard.

I reverse-engineered it in my shack from foraged junk. 

The person I sold it to asked what it was for. 

They were unimpressed by the ability to take 

what was once called a photograph.

But they liked the ‘Maps’ function, 

even though ‘Sydney’ meant nothing to them;

the pattern it made was pretty and sparked their curiosity.

I traded the Hen-Wizard for a handful of their dried beans; Adzuki. 

They were reluctant to give me a full fist.

But I persuaded them to part with some that were off-coloured.

Wait until they figure out how janky the Hen-Wizard is 

when they accept suggested updates!

No taksies backsies. 

As the smog-shrouded sun sets 

on the poisoned landscape of former, so-called Sydney,

I stir my pot of simmering Adzuki beans 

with a smile.

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