The wind slams doors and rattles locks, heralding a gathering of family,
some uncles and children not used to eating at one table.
A boy-child who would say what he saw and saw and saw—
uses the stick to draw more hands in the dirt underfoot.
Chopping carrots, slicing onions and peeling beans
for a stew to feed the little ones still gathering firewood.
An old woman smelling of garlic and cloves sings
a lament of the trees left alone in forests, the canopy lost.
As the wind makes patterns with blossoms, bring
a talking stick to the table and hand it to the old ones first
then the children will hear what it is to describe the hurt
that is carried in bones, from grandma to bairn to patterns in the dirt.
Meredith Pitt is a Blue Mountains based poet. She left school at 15 and has since wandered the backroads of study. Meredith remembers often sneaking off to read the poetry in the Childcraft books in her primary school library. Her work has been published in Meanjin, Verity La and Bluefeather.