The tree with the lights in it.

18 February 2019


A eucalypt in the yard cradled a nest for a devoted galah couple
Day after day they’d watch over their young
Forcefully expelling other birds who approached the tree
Leaving only to collect food for those expectant beaks
The intimidatingly primordial squawk of newborns ruling their days

It all seemed incredibly exhausting for the two adult birds
Did they longingly recall their previous lives of flying freedom?
Did they anticipate the day the baby birds would take flight?
Do birds suffer from empty nest syndrome?

You should put a metal guard on the tree to deter goannas
A few neighbours suggested
But I ignored the advice, trusting the parents’ vigilance
Not wanting to upset the natural order of things

I awoke one morning to frantic bird shrieks
When I stepped outside, the gum tree was ghostly quiet
I haven’t seen a galah in the bay for weeks now
Do birds mourn the loss of their young?
Do they ache at the futility of those weeks of servitude?