Later, in moonlight, the tree will shock the window
massed white on glass. Now, I clear breakfast
dishes, wipe down the sink, over the bench
around the tap, then watch the blackbird
mouth filled with dried grasses, slip into the tree
through clusters of pink, white and green crab apple,
my mother’s tea cup, lace edged hanky, an altar cloth.
I remember being here last year, the same scene
All Saints Day, All Souls Day and then as now
felt the timeliness of all that’s gone before
how the position of the sun changes.
That the blackbird will complete her nest, raise hatchlings.
The tree bathes in full sun. I rinse the cloth and finish.
Wendy Fleming, descendant of Irish immigrants, the first of whom arrived in Melbourne in 1838, was born in Melbourne, grew up in the Mallee. For most of her life she has lived in Melbourne and currently lives in Bundoora. Her poetry has been widely anthologised and in May this year her first poetry book Backyard Lemon was published by MPU and launched by Kevin Brophy. Current treasurer of Melbourne Poets Union, she has served in all committee positions including President. She is also co-convenor of Poets @ Watsonia, a branch of Melbourne Poets Union.