No soaring pain could match her, draped across a dying flame.
she whisper-whistled through lungs thin, teeth sallow,
a promise in song.
“Towera jinner mulbeena,
It was a good promise;
belonged to everyone
and wouldn’t change for Tomorrow’s ranges.
It asked for nothing
but patience and faith.
From where she lay,
the trees, gums, were akimbo.
For generations she had walked, through the wettest of wets and driest of dries.
With hope in her ribs and a nature savage and pure.
You could break her, throw her to the cockatoos,
And yet, ***** and punctured,
like driftwood, she would drift back,
Blossoming in your lap again.
When the kangaroos have done their dance
in the twilight.
There she'd been.
Supine. Broken open and
lily-white (on the inside).
and we did this.
with our prospecting and land grabbing
we did this,
with our parking lots and Starbucks cup
she was dismembered, priced, "loved," owned.
to the meek edge
of an eternal flame ****** to embers.
Adapted from the last chapter of the novel "Coonardoo" by K. S. Prichard.