Red Gum – Eucalyptus Blakelyi

I hold you
feel your stories
warm under bark
stories breathed
from one generation
to the next
till they take breath in

stories of struggle
as this land ached in pain
tears lost to flood
burned in fire
forever encrusted
in your memory

then as worms
tickle your roots
your gnarled trunk fills
warbles of magpie
slow clouds caress your
while gum leaves wait
excitedly to play hide and seek
as shy ants tiptoe through
lines of whispers
sun smiles
blush your bark

till in the tenderness of
silver leaves listen
as you tell stories
of time   change
and your love of the land


© Sue Donnelly, 2021