Out in the bush high over the trees
Screeches ring out of black-feathered banshees
"C'mon you blokes, it's time to move on,
We've eaten our fill and there's work to be done
And more she-oaks to rip into beyond yonder peaks
Loaded with nuts to crack with our beaks."
An urchin arises out of the dust
Runs into the hut as all urchins must,
"Mum rain termorrer, rain termorrer,"
Breathless and filthy, he's not wearing shoes
"I just saw a big flock of black cockatoos!"
She looks up from the lifeless mound in the bed,
"Who's been putting that guff in your head?"
She's been let down by hope too often before
To believe the old folks' silly folklore.
The cockatoos nestled in their roost for the night
As the feverish infant lost a brave fight
The mother she cried and tore clothing asunder
Her grief smothering rumbles of distant thunder
The dawn would bring with it inches of rain
Saving the crops and soothing the pain
(C) Stephen Lacey, 15 May 2020