Legend has it there was this lady who loved birds. She lived in Blackheath and she watched them in the trees and on the grass and sipping the pollen out of the grevilleas. She loved the birds very much, but truthfully, the birds loved her more. They watched her from the trees and the grass and the blossoms. Some of them watched her very close. They would perch on her shoulder and pick at the threads in the sleeve of her jumper, and make soft, happy sounds in her ears. They would walk up her extended arms like post-op patients taking their exercise. People were quite scary things generally, and not to be trusted, but the lady was different, and the birds knew it. She was taller than the bottlebrush. She knew how to be as quiet and still as a scribbly gum. They made up songs about her and they sang these in the mornings, full throated and strong with melodies that stretched almost as long as a summer afternoon.  The birds loved the lady and the birds lingered. They kept an eye on things. That’s what I hear.

[For Lin]


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