I stand

By | 31 October 2021

in the place where I began, many arms
now broad and twisted
high crown overlooking all

but the tallest siblings of smooth-barked apple,
rough-barked grey gum

surrounded by cliff and rock:
my protector, my tormentor

upper limbs bathe
in sunlight, roseate skin uncloaked
beneath darker peelings

visitors both subtle and loud pass through
three claws and two
two legs and four

intermittent avian chatter
a silent white moth
wings folded at rest

steeled claws following forked reptile tongue

ribbed capsules mingle
with a neighbour’s clusters of seven gumnuts:
seven cups of blossom erupt beneath
seven pointed caps

surge of sap through xylem and phloem

of distant thunder

a trickle of rain over curved spines, sweeping freshness
into the bark litter
that gathers softly at our base

runnels of sweet water
pool around the furthest roots

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