Eucalyptus camaldulensis

I am walking the desire line
between my house and Tree
the line inscribed
below the canopy where I
pace the path, hunting
for some
thing no one else can see
The loop in the line describes a gesture
close to genuflection, a catching of
the breath while banksia
catches at me
all urgent story
The thunder, my dear, the rain
Storm lurches forward blotting
out     mountains and town
and remnants of sunset,   and birds,
flying, call out for their kin
I am standing near Tree
not too near
and young branches are calling out
and leaves whip at the sky-sea and
bark begins to murmur
that it’s now! now!                then Tree
sighs, and lightning buries
its spear just a little
too near
Tree folds its arms against the trunk, and
looms, so lightning bows off the stage
and we’re safe, me and Tree. I lean against its
length, listen to sap shift beneath the skin,
and my feet feel their way into soil, and
when I wake later    the roots are curled
around me, and
creatures I can’t name are standing
heads cocked,

© Jen Webb, 2022