Monday, 14 December 2020

A CURRAWONG’S SPRING

 I

High squeals

            well...peeps really

disturb the silence of the day

and off she goes again

 

Chooses a leaf from the tree

picks it

holds it in one claw

and nibbles

not at the leaf

            but what is on it

Once finished the leaf is discarded

            and another chosen

 

Later

wandering across the ashfelt

oblivious to potential danger

her head moves from side to side

alert only for the movement

            of a smaller beast

 

On each return

the peeps quieten for a time.

 

Day in day out she feeds her young

 

Above

            the nest is high and safe in the sturdy gum

Below

            the cat is lying lazily in the sun

            one eye open

            waiting patiently

            for that moment...

inevitable really

 

I close my ears and heart

I don't want to know

            or hear

                        or see

Life is too complicated for this soul


II

A pause...silence

 

One month later

I find myself waiting for relief from the incessant noise

 

The small peeps now harsh cries

            never letting up

                        the demand for more

How does she stand it?

            This mother

 

I have heard some say motherhood is overrated

I can now well believe it

 

My patience is tested by this intrusion to my day

and they have nothing to do with me

            not really

These cries are not for me

            but they affect me

I cannot ignore their demand

 

Not having had children

I wonder if I would have been the one

            to lash out

                        go too far

 

Peace at last

            but no rest

The mind waits

            the body waits

All is alert

            for it to begin again

Feed me...feed me...feed me...feed me

 

Peace...but not the reality of peace.


III

Today I saw the chick for the first time

            finally

Not content with her mother’s offering

            the relentless infant

                        chases her along the branch

                        yelling at the top of its lungs

                        pecking at her retreating back

 

Curious

            it doesn’t look at all like I expected

Its large body dwarfing

            the one which gave her life

Its feathers a different colour

            and patterning

 

I think

I fear

            it is not hers at all

 

Damn!

We are both betrayed

 

How long must she feed this

            noisy

            ungrateful

                        imposter?

 

Not too long I hope

She is looking thin

Her feathers are ruffled

Some seem to be missing

            I suspect she has lost a few

 

My interest and concern evaporates

Anger and disappointment fill the gap

The fault is not the child's

            yet it is at her my wrath is aimed

One life is as good as another

That is what I believe....isn’t it?

 

It is the betrayal

            the recognition of betrayal

which triggers such a response

 

It’s not fair!

 

So?

 

Just...let...it...go.

© 1999, A. Maie


 


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