Tereticornis

Flooded redgum and Bastard box, Red ironbark and Slatey gum:
Through broken teeth in swollen gums, the tereticornis speaks—
She scratches with long fingers across the blue back of the sky—
A hundred common species of her name. A stranger still to the
Phrases that named her so many ungainly ways, tereticornis
Stands where she stood when a deciduous language—unnready
For timber that wanted to splinter so many hopes of hearth and
Unhouse so many thoughts of home—made landfall, that tongue, and
Found her waiting: tereticornis in slender throngs along the ridge
Above the farm they found arrayed around the bay. There’s a mob
Of them, a mnemonic chorus-line, the genies of the place, strung
The length of that ridge yet—some poised, corkscrewed and freeze-
Framed in the world’s slowest ecstatic dance, and each a slender
Blue epitome of what beauty takes to prosper through seven-
Seasons yearly in a sclerophyll place on earth.



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