Alighted on Eucalypt, the evening breeze
Ruffles his feathers
And tussles the rusting wind chime.
Crooked beak, bushy brow.
Erudite eyes, now lidded,
Whose piercing gaze latches
To all who scamper in the night.
Father and daughter,
Barefoot on yellowing grass,
Squint in the waning light.
Father tends tomatoes intermittently,
Awaiting the beast’s imminent arousal.
Rosy dusk extends her fingers across the horizon,
Flower petals snuggle into buds for the night.
And still the pair remains,
Despite wafting aromas from kitchen windows.
Daughter, nestled amongst nasturtiums,
Observes lines and curves
Of mottled feathers and curled claws,
Aching to commit them to paper.
Yet patience wanes as mosquitoes descend.
She creeps, she croons:
A discordant reveille.
A flicker of amber: two wide, round eyes.
Now toey, he extends a mottled wing –
Languid, leisured –
Like a sail to ride the currents
Of the balmy evening breeze.
Father and Daughter,
Captivated by majesty,
Chatter and fluster beneath.
He peruses the pair
With one eye:
Pale and fleshy – strange creatures.
He pays them no mind
And lifts his wings,
Eliciting gasps from below.
Claws depart from Eucalypt, and he alights.
But a foot
And nestles into leaves of a neighbouring branch.