My mother was a currawong
with sleek black feathers
trimmed with white
and a beak that broke down bones
cracked through lizard hide
pointed the way through mazed tree tops
and curved snarling down at the corners.
She kept her yellow eyes closed in hours of darkness
to keep their colour
and sharpened them on everything I did in the daylight.
When she sang her voice was ringing
setting the sun just so or calling up morning
with the single swoop to song, cadence almost finished -
but not quite. Her own naked name, over and over
until to hear it meant nothing
and that was her tragedy.