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To the olive tree in Duntroon gardens, Canberra

Words come too dense
to say simply: olive tree
already cast by Linnaean binomial taxonomy
Olea europaea, dead tongue shrouding Europa’s majesty
 
But last autumn after tripping down a laneway of firebirds, hearts broken
I crossed Calculus Lane, again, its binary abstractions inclosures and fractions,
to return to that garden
of trees named in English and Latin
and Sophia, hurled from her window, ghosting again
 
I greeted the guardian. A southern nettle. Some blood at the gateway, just a prick
 
then I flew through air as I walked to the olive I loved in the spring
birdsong swelled, green soaring, shining in soft late sun, pale leafed and young
not ancient and gnarled as she is. I circled her
I lay along her, hands wrapped round boughs
feet pressed into holds sheltering mushrooms
 
birds swoop low over me as if I am tree now
tears gutter
Are you sad? I ask Athena’s tree. Or am I?
Do you grieve being so far from home, on your own?
 
But we are not alone. We’re one, simply

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  • To the olive tree in Duntroon gardens, Canberra