Margaret Bradstock

Waking to a dry season
the nightmare still on hold
                         you assemble cycling gear, 
protective clothing, the knee support.
         Same smoke haze, same traffic,
                                      the day yawns ahead.

You open shutters 
                        to noise in the native garden,
flashes of green and orange 
                              among branches, a flurry
of rainbow lorikeets move in
    drink nectar from pink flower heads 
                                    then fly away, too soon.
Down at Thirroul, in the leafy paradise
our offspring  have created,
                   birds flock to the wooden veranda 
two of them, playing to the gallery
              and each other, artistes extraordinaire
perform a dance, blue heads nodding 
then swing, upside-down 
                                    from palm tree branches.

Beyond, the blue coast beckons.
The self in hiding
                   cannot speak of loss or failure,
these cheeky birds
                                    a small epiphany, taking
a little of the grief away. 

Margaret Bradstock has eight published collections of poetry, including The Pomelo Tree (winner of the Wesley Michel Wright Prize)and Barnacle Rock (winner of the Woollahra Festival Award, 2014). Editor of Antipodes (2011) and Caring for Country (2017), Margaret won the Banjo Paterson Poetry Award in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Her latest collection, from Puncher & Wattmann, is Brief Garden (2019). 

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