Cocky’s joy

(for my mother)

Hidden under precious papers,
your citizenship certificate,
a pretty document (almost half a century old)
ornamented with sprigs of wattle and
our national fauna (kangaroo and emu)
bearing the coat of arms…
You loved wattle and kangaroos
but your heart cracked, just a little, on the day
that you received this award…
After the ceremony we ate damper spread
with golden syrup ‘Cocky’s Joy’ someone said –
words that held no meaning for a woman
who preferred rice to bread, but it was a party
(of sorts) so you smiled and watched your children
devour a stranger’s food— knowing that in the evening
you would nourish them properly…

Anita Patel

Listen to Anita reading Cocky’s joy (1:03)


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