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Old Banksia Tree by Margaret Preston

March 30, 2019

Words Sakina N.  
Header Credits Google.


Deman was tired. It had been a long and harrowing day. Her roots were parched and her branches stiff. She longed for a sip of water but unfortunately, summer had yet to come to an end.

How she dreamt of the cool autumn nights and the incandescence of the moon. The clouds and the winds. Her gnarly branches started undulating whilst she unfurled her pretzeled bark.  Her ochre flowers and nectar – filled fruits could not help but think of a life away from their honey sucking friends.

Oh if only autumn would come and callously push the stresses of summer away. It would lessen the fear of a fire and ease Deman’s anxiety.

She had already lost her husband, Dembart, to the raging fires of last summer and could not bear the weight of another death. She looked lovingly towards her children and grandchildren, smiling slightly at the tiny fruit the younglings bore.

Deman burrowed her roots deep into the ground, curled her back, closed her eyes and with one last sigh hoped for a better tomorrow.

*I would like to acknowledge that whilst writing this piece, the terms Deman (grandmother) and Dembart (grandfather) have been taken from the Noongar culture. The Noongar people are the ‘original inhabitants of the south-west of Western Australia (where the Banksia trees are found)’ and they are one of the largest Aboriginal cultural blocks in Australia. In incorporating their names, I have attempted to, in some very small way, acknowledge that they are the Traditional Owners of the country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

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