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Fremantle Mallee

Eucalyptus foecunda  

 
Every now and then I go visiting
my guerrilla trees,
planted in road reserves,
council land, in the shade of elders
of their species for company,
for tree to tree collaboration.

I find them where I have dug
them into a swale or embankment
carried water through summer’s
long endurance, pulled weeds
and rubbed leaves in silent communion;

Are you doing okay?

Fruiting, budding, greening,
leaves mellifluously rattling.
 
Yes.
 
Here in the limestone dunes of Wallyalup,
their increase is just a matter of return.

The banksia took years
for its roots to commit, 
but the Fremantle Mallee already
casts a slab of quivering shade
over the top of my head.
 
Remembering how I prised it
from where it was wedged
in a small black tube, a seedling
not much bigger than the hand
that placed it into the ground,

I look up now and see it demanding
its place in the sky, feel a pang of heat
spreading into my open palms,
down into my feet, lightly imprinted in the sand. 

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