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Braid

Mount Annan Botanic Gardens
 
 
I
 
Will you – or will I?
Leaves like spears.
Strip them. A whip –
bare legs and escape.
 
Here, grab this: now
jump and swing…
When the sun glances
off the water, let go.
 
The river will catch you.
You’ll swim. Don’t sink.
Slender like the willow,
supple and strong.
 
 
II
 
Birds eat berries. We collect
basketfuls: blue, black. Not the red.
 
Woollen skirts and mary janes.
A running jump is all it takes.
 
Leap: over brambles, above thorns.
You land, safely, on green lawn.
 
At Christmas, a holly wreath.
The years tremble all grief away.
 
 
III
 
A single potted plant.
My mother waters it, suns it.
I help to feed it.
 
Winter outside. We pull on
our coats and drive to the station.
I wait inside the car
 
while my mother fills the tank.
To the left, a stand of trees:
taller, larger, than our plant.
 
A family: untapped. Roots
spread across foreign soil.
Their history rubbed out.

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