Wirilda

By | 1 February 2019

Kokartha women share tales of living
from the land, walking forever
through wattle country

In a good season, yellow balls blaze
with the scent of honey
Wirilda fills the desert air
Husks wait for years, for fire to open
each hard black shell, drop seeds
ripe for sprouting

I go out with the Aunties to beat
the trees with sticks, roast shiny beads
in slow embers. Once pounded
to a fragrant paste, we cook
patty cakes shared warm
from a bush oven

Wirilda trees now grow on farms
to harvest the precious beans
Roasted and ground
for their coffee scent
The dark aroma packaged
as Native Bush Tucker

Wood smoke and honey blossom
still linger on the tongue
the bitter-sweet taste of wattle seed
trapped inside

Wirilda: desert wattle (acacia retinodes)
Kokartha: Aboriginal Nation, South Australia

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