Like our manic thoughts, she opines while pointing
to the exquisite whiteness of a swan on the lake.
How its feet are scrabbling under the water as it glides
serenely. As we walk further round the lake
a submerged swan twenty times bigger
hoves into view, its wooden neck two feet above the water.
One black-headed gull perches on its hull swivelling
its winter-white head and stretching alternate wings.
Later in the park café she tells us she’s knitting mittens
for the koalas burnt in Australia’s fires but she thinks
we’ll all be incinerated eventually. She talks with a twinkle
in her eye about the death of flying foxes who can’t fly
fast enough. Maybe she’ll knit joey pouches or bat wraps
next if she has time. She sips her hot cappuccino and tells us
about the melting cameras set up to capture
the regent honeyeater’s nesting habits.
Her smile’s disarming as she hands round the biscuits.
© 2020, Eric Nicholson
Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. He writes poetry occasionally but more recently has focussed on painting.