I held your hand as the forest stilled
and the air grew cold; a silent prophecy,
a prediction not felt but tasted
upon our tongues.
Your thumb drawing circles
on my palm, the callous of your skin
still felt against mine
like a phantom limb gnawing
at the empty hours of my sleep.
There are twenty-three circles
around the fallen branch
of the tree we once named ours.
She has been here longer than we
ever knew how; roots fumble below
damp earth the way we fumbled over
truth, never sure of the way to turn.
I have been thinking of the winter;
how hardened we became as resignation
stole the colour from our eyes.
How we clothed our bodies in husk and
called ourselves weatherproof.
How we have become like Banksia seeds;
hope held tight beneath resin seal,
restless for the heat of a wildfire
to awaken new birth.